Viral infections

Is Eye Herpes Simplex Infection Contagious?

Is Eye Herpes Simplex Infection Contagious?

Eye herpes simplex infection, also known as ocular infection is a kind of eye infection. It is quite common and can occur repeatedly. It causes redness in the eye and is quite painful. These infections are treatable and do not cause any damage to the eye. But in some severe cases it may cause blindness. But most people do not know about the source of the infection and whether they are contagious or not. You can get the answer to your queries in this oneHOWTO article: Is eye herpes simplex infection contagious?

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  1. Types of Eye Herpes
  2. Types of Herpes Simplex Infections
  3. Cause of Eyes herpex simplex infection
  4. Is Eye herpes simplex infection contagious?
  5. Symptoms of eye herpes simplex infection
  6. How to prevent eye herpes simplex infection?

Types of Eye Herpes

Eye herpes are caused by two types of virus. One that causes cold sore and another that causes chickenpox.

There are two types of eye herpes which are as follows:

  • Herpes simplex infection
  • Herpes zoster ophthalmicus

Types of Herpes Simplex Infections

There are three forms of herpes simplex infections. They are:

  1. Herpes keratitis: It is a common viral corneal infection. It usually affects the top layer of the eye i.e. epithelium of cornea. This type of eye herpes heals without scarring.
  2. Stromal keratitis: This type of herpes infection affects the deeper layer of cornea. It is a rare condition and is thought to be caused by a late immune response to the initial infection. It can cause corneal scarring, loss of vision and even blindness.
  3. Iridocyclitis: This is the most serious type of eye herpes simplex infection. Iridocyclitis causes inflammation in the iris and tissues surrounding the inside of eyes. Due to this the eyes becomes severely sensitive to light. The eye becomes red and painful and vision becomes blurred.
Is Eye Herpes Simplex Infection Contagious? - Types of Herpes Simplex Infections

Cause of Eyes herpex simplex infection

The eye herpes simplex infection is caused by the herpes simplex virus. It enters the body via nose or mouth. After entering, it travels into the nerves and usually lays inactive for years.

This virus is triggered by sunburn, fever, trauma or any major dental or surgical procedure. It can also be triggered by reaction to certain foods or medicines.

Is Eye herpes simplex infection contagious?

Herpes simplex virus usually spreads through an active herpes infection, such as a cold sore on the lip. Self contamination often results when you make contact of the fluid from lip cold sore. It can also spread through contact with another person who is already suffering from herpes simplex infection, although such cases are quite rare. But if you have a weak immune system then the eye herpes virus may affect your retina or even your brain.

Usually eye herpes simplex infection affects only one eye. But sometimes it may spread to the other eye too due to self contamination.

Studies have shown that most people suffer from this infection during their childhood or early adolescence. It should be treated when it occurs for the first time. If left untreated, it has 40 – 50 percent chance of returning. In some people the herpes simplex infection can recur often. If it is left untreated for a long time then it can cause serious damage to the eye.

Symptoms of eye herpes simplex infection

There are several symptoms of eye herpes simplex infection which occur in the infected eye. They are listed as follows:

  • Swelling around the eyes
  • Blisters on or near eyelid
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Redness
  • Pain
  • Irritation
  • Blurred vision
  • Tears or watery discharge from eyes
  • Sensation of foreign body in eye
  • Soreness in eye
Is Eye Herpes Simplex Infection Contagious? - Symptoms of eye herpes simplex infection

How to prevent eye herpes simplex infection?

Eye herpes simplex infection is quite common and usually occurs during the childhood or early adolescence. So, it is quite impossible to prevent it from happening for the first time. But you must be concerned if it occurs a second time or more. In such case, try to maintain good health and hygiene. Avoid contamination at any cost. Prevent stress or any other trigger that may make the herpes simplex virus active again.

In some cases the virus may attack for no known cause. Such cases cannot be prevented. But maintaining an overall hygiene and general good health is important even in those cases.

This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to Is Eye Herpes Simplex Infection Contagious?, we recommend you visit our Diseases & secondary effects category.

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I am on 400mg acyclovir for the rest of my life and I forget to take these tablets twice a day. I already had surgery on my cornea over 15 years ago to decrease the scratch on my cornea. I should have been checking out my eyes and could have prevented this. It must have stayed dormant all these years.
This is the third time I've had this infection. This was the worst. Was on zirgan 0.15%/valacyclovir hcl 1. Doc says infection is gone. Eye still red all around the eye/still hurts and started to get blurred about 2 weeks ago. The whole infection started 2/10. How long do you think the blur will last? Doc says my cornea is good. Now I am on acyclovir 400 mg every day.
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Is Eye Herpes Simplex Infection Contagious?