CHOC Children's
EYE CARE :: Eye Disorders


What is keratitis?

Keratitis is an inflammation or infection of the cornea of the eye. The cornea is the clear, dome-shaped surface that covers the front of the eye. Keratitis, when extensive, requires prompt medical evaluation as it can potentially lead to blindness.

What causes keratitis?

There are many different causes of keratitis. The following are some of the more common causes:

  • bacterial
  • vitamin A deficiency releated
  • viral
  • fungal (most commonly in contact lens wearers or in immunocompromised patients)

What are the symptoms of keratitis?

The following are the most common symptoms of keratitis. However, each child may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

  • pain and redness in the eye
  • discomfort when the child looks at a light (photophobia)
  • tearing, watery eyes, or discharge
  • blurry vision
  • foreign body sensation

The symptoms of keratitis may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your child's physician for a diagnosis.

How is keratitis diagnosed?

Keratitis is usually diagnosed based on a medical history and physical examination of your child. Cultures of the eye drainage are usually not required, but may be done to confirm the cause of the infection. Your child may be referred to an ophthalmologist (eye care specialist) for treatment of this problem.

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It is important to remember the health information found on this website is for reference only not intended to replace the advice and guidance of your healthcare provider. Always seek the advice of your physician with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.

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