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Eye Health and Herpes Viruses

How Is Herpes Zoster Ophthalmicus Treated? continued...

Your doctor will recommend antiviral eye drops, pills, or both. No matter what kind of medication is recommended, it is important to keep using the medicine for as long as your doctor recommends. Even though the eye might start to look or feel better, the infection could come back if you stop taking your medicine too soon.

Steroid eye drops might also be recommended. Steroids can control the disease if given at the right time, but they can also raise eye pressure in some people. Patients are asked to regularly visit the eye doctor during treatment so eye pressure can be monitored.

Another type of eye drop might also be prescribed to keep the pupil dilated. This drug prevents spasms in the eye muscles and alleviates discomfort.

Unfortunately, herpetic eye disease can be painful even after several days of treatment when the eye is starting to look better. This can be discouraging, but it does not mean that the treatment is a failure. The medications are working, and the pain will go away eventually. 

Very rarely the pain, or neuralgia, can continue for weeks to months, and your doctor might seek other treatment options. An evaluation by a chronic pain specialist is an important part of the treatment process if the discomfort extends an unusually long time.

How Is Herpes Simplex Keratitis Treated?

The same types of eye drops and pills that are used to treat herpes zoster ophthalmicus are prescribed to treat herpes simplex keratitis. It is also just as important to use the medications as recommended and to keep all appointments with your doctor



WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Brian S. Boxer Wachler, MD on November 05, 2013

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