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I have heard that people who have bacterial keratitis wake up with their eyelids stuck together. I have heard there can be pain, sensitivity to light, redness, tearing, and a decrease in vision. I realized this condition is usually aggressive, and it can be caused by wearing soft contact lenses overnight. I found it scary so I want you to tell me something about keratitis. Can you tell me how to prevent it, or how to treat this condition if it occurs, and when person should visit a doctor?

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First thing you need to know about prevention of keratitis is that if you have a cold sore, do not put your fingers to your eyes. This is important because that could spread the infection. If there is any suspicion that you have herpes simplex virus, avoid steroid eye drops because they can make this infection worse. Routine contact lens hygiene, a balanced diet and moisturizing eye drops may prevent keratitis as well. Once that keratitis occurs, treatment is to apply antiviral eye drops that will clear up the symptoms of herpes simplex virus. However, even though the active infection is treated, the virus can flare up again because it remains in person’s system. In some serious cases, the doctor may apply anesthetic drops and gently scrape the diseased tissue off the cornea. After this procedure, patient should wear an eye patch for a few days, and doctor may put a soft contact lens in the eye as protection until the infection subsides. For some other causes of keratitis as infections for example, antibiotics may be necessary. Person should call doctor promptly if symptoms develop, especially if he or she has pain or vision is impaired.
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