7 Fungal Keratitis Facts

Fungal Keratitisfungal keratitis: 1. Fungal keratitis can be caused by over 70 types of fungal organisms that surround us daily; however, 2 major groups are the most commonly seen culprits, namely Candida yeast and filamentous fungi.

2. Fungal keratitis is somewhat opportunistic in nature and does not normally affect healthy eyes or an overall healthy individual, therefore needing an underlying medical condition or circumstances leading up to the fungal keratitis. Eye trauma, dry eye syndrome, pre-existing autoimmune disorder or compromised immune system are sometimes the situations that yeast and fungi can use to their advantage and affect the cornea of the eyes.

3. Fungal keratitis signs are usually presented with symptoms very similar to other types of microbial keratitis which can make finding diagnoses very difficult, specifically eye redness, moderate to severe eye pain and irritation, sensitivity to light and blurred vision. In multiple cases fungal keratitis symptoms are mistaken for a regular bacterial eye infection and antibiotic treatment prescribed to find out that it doesn’t bring any relief.

4. Contact lens wearers are many times more likely to experience contact lens keratitis due to constant mild abrasion of the eye cornea by the lens material or poor contact lens hygiene.

5. Residents of warmer tropical climates with high levels of humidity are more likely to be affected by filamentous fungi organisms, while people living in colder climates suffer mostly from keratitis caused by Candida yeast infection.

6. Fungal keratitis must be properly diagnosed and treated with antifungal therapy to avoid devastating complications that can include complete loss of vision or eye necrosis in rare scenarios.

7. Fungal keratitis prognosis is relatively good and complete recovery is achieved in most cases of the disease. However, severe and untreated incidents of fungal keratitis require cornea transplants in order to restore proper vision.

Keratitis prevention is the number one way to avoid the majority of keratitis incidents. If you are a contact lens wearer, make sure you clean your lenses and their containers regularly with a special ophthalmological solution intended for this purpose.

Do not use tap water or swim in lakes or ponds while wearing contact lenses to avoid acanthamoeba keratitis that could result from infestation with one cell amoebae that inhabit these water bodies and even tap water.

Herpes simplex keratitis also deserves to be mentioned in regard to prevention. This type of keratitis could potentially be contracted by a newborn while passing through an infected mother’s birth canal. Prophylaxis eye drops are routinely used in all neonates to avoid the occurrence of herpes simplex keratitis.

Should you sustain an eye injury, take care to have your eyes examined by a professional ophthalmologist that can prescribe preventative treatments to avoid major eye complications and preserve your vision.