Treatment Options for Corneal Infections - SightMD Skip to main content

April 20, 2024

By: Faye Knoll, MD

Treatment Options for Corneal Infections

What is the treatment for Corneal Infections?

The cornea is a transparent, dome-shaped tissue that covers the front of the eye, playing a crucial role in focusing light and maintaining clear vision. However, when the cornea becomes infected, it can lead to significant discomfort and vision impairment. Corneal infections, also known as keratitis, can be caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi, or parasites, and prompt treatment is essential to prevent complications and preserve vision. At SightMD, we’re dedicated to providing comprehensive care for corneal infections, offering effective treatment options tailored to each patient’s needs.

  1. Antibiotic Eye Drops: In cases of bacterial keratitis, antibiotic eye drops are typically the first line of treatment. These medicated drops work to eliminate the infection-causing bacteria and reduce inflammation in the cornea. Depending on the severity of the infection, your ophthalmologist may prescribe broad-spectrum or specific antibiotics to target the underlying cause effectively. It’s crucial to use antibiotic eye drops as directed and complete the full course of treatment to ensure the infection is fully eradicated.
  2. Antifungal Medications: For fungal keratitis, antifungal medications such as antifungal eye drops or oral antifungal agents may be prescribed. These medications work to inhibit the growth and spread of the fungal infection within the cornea. In severe cases, your ophthalmologist may recommend a combination of topical and systemic antifungal therapy to achieve optimal results. Close monitoring and regular follow-up appointments are essential to assess treatment efficacy and prevent recurrence of the infection.
  3. Antiviral Medications: In cases of viral keratitis, antiviral medications are used to suppress viral replication and reduce inflammation in the cornea. Depending on the specific virus involved, your ophthalmologist may prescribe topical antiviral eye drops, oral antiviral medications, or a combination of both. While antiviral medications can help manage the symptoms of viral keratitis, they may not fully eliminate the virus, and recurrence is possible. Regular follow-up appointments and ongoing monitoring are essential to manage the condition effectively.
  4. Corticosteroid Eye Drops: In some cases of corneal infection, corticosteroid eye drops may be prescribed to reduce inflammation and promote healing in the cornea. However, corticosteroids are typically used in combination with antimicrobial medications and under close supervision by your ophthalmologist. Prolonged or inappropriate use of corticosteroids can exacerbate the infection and lead to complications, so it’s essential to follow your doctor’s instructions carefully.
  5. Corneal Debridement or Surgery: In severe cases of corneal infection that do not respond to conservative treatment measures, surgical intervention may be necessary. Corneal debridement, or the removal of infected tissue from the cornea, may be performed to eliminate the source of the infection and promote healing. In advanced cases or when vision is significantly compromised, corneal transplantation surgery may be recommended to replace the damaged corneal tissue with healthy donor tissue.

Cornea Disease Care at SightMD

Corneal infections can cause significant discomfort and vision impairment if left untreated. Prompt diagnosis and appropriate treatment are essential for preserving vision and preventing complications. At SightMD, our team of experienced ophthalmologists is dedicated to providing comprehensive care for corneal infections, offering a range of treatment options tailored to each patient’s unique needs. If you’re experiencing symptoms of a corneal infection, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment for evaluation and treatment.