NJ Corneal Specialist on Shingles Eye Infections

Eye Care & Surgery Center NJ Bladeless LASIK Laser Cataract Surgeon Blog

Monday, August 20, 2012

NJ Corneal Specialist on Shingles Eye Infections

NJ Corneal Specialist Joel Confino, M.D. provided information about shingles eye infections from Herpes Zoster. “Often patients don’t realize that Herpes Zoster “shingles” eye infection or keratitis is actually caused by the same virus that causes chicken pox, called Varicella-Zoster virus,” explained Dr. Confino. “If you have had chicken pox as a child, the Varicella-Zoster virus can actually remain in the nerve cells of your body in an inactive state. Then, later in life if there is some type of event-such as stress, infection or other type of immune compromise, the virus can reactivate and actually travel through the nerves in your body causing a painful blistering rash. In the event the virus travels to your head or neck it can affect the eye and thus cause a corneal infection or keratitis which can become a serious eye infection,” he further explained. 

Patients should be aware that it is critical to have Herpes Zoster Keratitis diagnosed quickly as the infection can penetrate deeply into the cornea and it can cause scarring and vision loss. In addition the “shingles eye infection can also result in a decrease or even a loss of corneal sensation, which can be permanent and very undesirable. It may be necessary to prescribe both oral medications and eye drops to try and resolve the infection and prevent serious damage from occurring. While it is possible for anyone who has been exposed to the chicken pox virus to get shingles it seems to mostly affect those of advanced age and those with weakened or suppressed immune systems. “It is important to note that corneal problems from shingles may occur many months after the facial shingles appear to have resolved so it is important to schedule regular follow up appointments for eye examinations as instructed by your doctor,” emphasized Dr. Confino. 

If you or someone you know has had Shingles or Chicken Pox and is experiencing any type of eye problem please call The Eye Care & Surgery Center at 908-789-8999 and request an immediate appointment with Corneal Specialist Joel Confino, M.D. or visit The Eye Care & Surgery Center or facebook.com/eyecareandsurgerycenter

The Eye Care & Surgery Center is staffed by a team of Board Certified NJ Ophthalmologists who are subspecialty Fellowship trained New Jersey eye surgeons, Opticians, technical and administrative staff who provide eye examinations for adults and children, surgery for cataracts, intraocular lens implants (IOL), laser eye surgery such as LASIK, diagnosis and treatment of cornea disease including cornea transplants, diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the retina including diabetes and age related macular degeneration (AMD) and diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma, reconstructive and cosmetic facial surgery including eyelid surgery and facial and skin rejuvenation as well as contact lenses, eyeglasses, eyewear and optical services. 

With locations in Westfield and Warren and Iselin, The Eye Care & Surgery Center is a leading NJ eye care practice serving the central and northern New Jersey including Old Bridge, East Brunswick, Sayreville, Milltown, North Brunswick, Kendall Park, Somerset, Dunellen, Bridgewater, Manville, Bound Brook, Raritan, Edison, Colonia, Woodbridge, Metuchen, Avenel, Carteret, Piscataway, Middlesex, Somerville, South Plainfield, North Plainfield, Roselle Park, Garwood, Clark, Kenilworth, Cranford, Gillette, Berkeley Heights, Stirling, Scotch Plains, Summit, Chatham, Watchung, Pluckemin, Rahway, Plainfield, Mountainside, Springfield, New Providence, Basking Ridge, Bedminster, Bernardsville, Millington, Union, Elizabeth, Linden, Jersey City, Irvington, Orange, West Orange, Livingston, Short Hills, Florham Park, Madison, Bloomfield, Montclair, Clifton, Garfield, Wayne, Parsippany, Troy Hills and Paramus, New Jersey.