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Can shingles affect the cornea of your eye?

My daughter has been seeing eye specialists and they have scraped the cornea to get cultures and ran tests, they came back negative. They said it's possible it's shingles, could that be possible? She has been taking antibiotics, steroids, eye drops, she is 40 yrs. old and has had chicken pox as a child.

Related Topics: Cornea, Eyes, Vision, Antibiotic, Steroid

Answers From Experts & Organizations (1)

Primary Care
6,467 Answers
73,311 Helpful Votes
Yes, shingles can definitely affect the eye. This is called herpetic keratitis and can be quite serious if not diagnosed promptly and treated effectively. Steroid eye drops can make herpes in the eye worse, so this is usually not done, unless specifically prescribed by an ophthalmologist. Antibiotic eye drops would have no beneficial effect on herpes involving the eye, so special anti-viral/anti-herpetic drops are used.

Having chicken pox as a child is really a prerequisite to getting shingles; in the eye or other places. The chicken pox virus is also a herpes virus that has reactivated from a second exposure.

I am pleased that her eye cultures came back negative.

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