Keratitis is a condition that occurs when the cornea becomes inflamed. The cornea is an integral structure of the eye; it’s the clear portion that covers and protects the pupil and the iris from things like debris, bacteria, and viruses. Like other parts of the eye, the cornea can become damaged; in fact, it is more prone to damage than other structures within the eye because of its location and the function it serves.
Keratitis is a common condition and it can be caused by a number of factors; wearing contact lenses for a prolonged period of time or wearing dirty contact lenses, scratches, exposure to contaminated water, and exposure to powerful UV light are all factors that can contribute to this condition.
With prompt treatment, recovery should be fairly quick. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, make an appointment with your eye doctor for an evaluation.
1. Red eyes.
Every day, you are exposed to a variety of environmental pollutants, and those pollutants can affect your eyes; namely, they can make the white part (the sclera) appear read. Exposure to allergens, such as grass, pollen, and hay, often contribute to red eyes. Other factors that can make the eyes appear red include lack of sleep, dry air, and using the eyes for prolonged periods of time without taking proper rest (staring at a computer screen or reading, for example).
Reddening of the eye can also be a sign of several ailments; most notable, conjunctivitis, or ‘pink eye’; however, it can also be a sign of keratitis. If the whites of your eyes appear red, over-the-counter eye drops and rest aren’t helping, and you aren’t experiencing other symptoms that are attributed to conjunctivitis (tearing, discharge, crusting, itching, and burning), it could be a sign of corneal inflammation.