What is keratitis?
Keratitis is an inflammation or infection of the cornea of the eye. The cornea is the clear, dome-shaped surface that covers the front of the eye. Keratitis is a medical emergency because extensive involvement may lead to blindness.
What causes keratitis?
There are many different causes of keratitis. The following are some of the more common causes:
Vitamin A deficiencies
Trauma (usually following insertion of an object into the eye)
What are the symptoms of keratitis?
The following are the most common symptoms of keratitis. However, each child may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
Pain and redness in the eye
Discomfort when the child looks at a light (photophobia)
Tearing, watery eyes, or discharge
Feeling as if something is in the eye
The symptoms of keratitis may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your child's health care provider for a diagnosis.
How is keratitis diagnosed?
Keratitis is usually diagnosed based on a complete medical history and physical examination of your child. Cultures of the eye drainage are usually not required, but may be done to confirm the cause of the infection.
Treatment for keratitis
Specific treatment for keratitis will be determined by your child's health care provider based on:
Your child's age, overall health, and medical history
The extent of the disease
Your child's tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
Expectations for the course of the disease
Your opinion or preference
Your child may be referred to an ophthalmologist or optometrist (eye care specialists) for treatment of this problem.