“As a cornea specialist I am acutely aware of the potential seriousness of corneal infections or Keratitis”, commented Joel Confino, M.D. of The Eye Care & Surgery Center in New Jersey. “It is important for patients to understand that the normal healthy cornea is quite resistant to infection, but if the outermost layer of the cornea, called the Epithelium, is damaged in any way this can be a problem,” said Dr. Confino. Accidents or trauma of any type, such as from getting a poke in the eye from a branch or a finger, a foreign body, such as metal or even from a dirty or damaged contact lens, can present the opportunity for bacteria, viruses or fungi to penetrate the cornea and cause an infection. Generally, events such as these can result in painful inflammation and corneal infections called Keratitis. “The typical signs and symptoms of corneal infections or Keratitis might include redness of the eye, pain, light sensitivity or photophobia, excessive eye watering and even the appearance of a white spot where the actual focus of the infection is located in the cornea,” further explained Dr. Confino. If not recognized and treated promptly, corneal infections can lead to erosion, ulceration and even scarring, which can impair vision and may require a Corneal Transplant. Quick diagnosis and treatment are the best way to avoid the potential for damage and vision loss from a corneal infection. If you, or someone you know, is experiencing any of these signs or symptoms-especially if they have had any trauma to their eyes-please called The Eye Care & Surgery Center-908-789-8999 and request an immediate appointment with NJ Corneal Specialist Joel Confino, M.D.