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Herpes?? In the eye???

You probably are aware you can get cold sores or herpes on your lip but most people are amazed (or repulsed) when I tell them they have eye herpes.

Firstly let's get a few myths out of the way. This is not the sexually transmitted herpes virus (herpes simplex 2). Herpes simplex 1 you acquire typically in childhood and usually just mimics a viral illness. It then goes and hides in your nervous system in your brain and comes back later in adult life. About 90% of people have the herpes virus in their system.

Herpes simplex is actually the most common cause of infective blindness in the world. Treatments are effective but often the condition is recurrent and can lead to scarring of the eye. Some patients will take long term antiviral tablets to prevent recurrences but even with using tablets, recurrences can still occur in about 15-20% of patients per year.

You should see an optometrist or eye surgeon if you have eye redness, discomfort, blurred vision that doesn't go away with over the counter drops or antibiotic drops. The This is one of the common ways herpes presents.

* Information on this blog is general in nature and should not be taken as professional medical advice or as a substitute for a consultation with a medical professional.

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