Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Birmingham Corneal Specialist on Herpes Simplex Eye Infections

Birmingham Corneal Specialist Marc Michelson, M.D. of Alabama Eye & Cataract Center commented on Herpes Simplex eye infections. “Most people would be quite surprised to learn that Herpes Simplex eye infections affect a meaningful number of people each year. Ocular Herpes or Herpes of the eye is caused by the Herpes Simplex virus and is the most common causes of corneal blindness in the United States today,” emphasized Dr. Michelson. “As many as 50% of the patients who have an initial Herpes Simplex viral infection of the eye will experience a flare up or recurrence and sometimes the virus can result in irreversible damage scarring of the cornea.”

Ocular Herpes may start as a painful sore on the eyelid or surface of the eye. If left untreated, it may multiply and begin to destroy epithelial cells and progress deeper into the cornea. If the Ocular Herpes penetrates the deeper layers of the cornea and causes a stromal keratitis it may cause corneal scarring-so prompt diagnosis and treatment of Ocular Herpes is important.

It is estimated that 400,000 people in the United States have had some type of Ocular Herpes, with more than 50,000 initial and recurring cases being diagnosed each year. Of these, it is believed that 25% are the more severe form of Herpes Stromal Keratitis. The recurrence of Herpes Simplex eye infections is significant in that it appears to recur in about 10% of patients with one year, 23% of patients within two years and 63% of patients within 20 years of their initial infection. Sometimes a recurrence can be prompted by sunlight, stress, fevers or an unrelated eye injury. Quick diagnosis and treatment is the key to avoiding corneal scarring, vision loss and the possible need for a corneal transplant.

If you or someone you know is experiencing any signs or symptoms of corneal infection-especially if they have had any trauma to their eyes-please call Alabama Eye & Cataract Center in Birmingham-205-930-0930 and request an immediate appointment with Corneal Specialists Marc Michelson, M.D or Tyler Hall, M.D.

Michelson Laser Vision and Alabama Eye & Cataract Center are leading eye care centers in Birmingham staffed by a team of specialists including eye doctors who are fellowship trained cornea specialists and cataract and lens implant specialists-all board certified Ophthalmologists-as well as Optometrists, Opticians, technical and administrative staff who provide eye examinations for adults and children, cataract surgery and intraocular lens implants (IOL), laser eye surgery such as LASIK for laser vision correction, diagnosis and treatment of cornea disease including cornea transplants, care for diseases of the retina including diabetes and age related macular degeneration and diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma.