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Fungal Keratitis


What is Fungal Keratitis?

The eye is made up of many parts that are extremely delicate in nature. This is why we should treat our eyes with the utmost care and keep them safe. Keratitis refers to the infection caused in the cornea which is the clear membrane that covers the color part of the eye and plays a huge role in vision. 

Fungal Keratitis as the name suggests is caused by fungal infections in the cornea. This could be because of multiple reasons but an injury to the eye or contact lenses are the most common reasons for fungal keratitis. It causes the corona to swell up and is most common in tropical or subtropical areas. It is also called a fungal corneal ulcer. Fungal keratitis is extremely common in India, especially in south India and if left untreated then fungal keratitis can lead to loss of vision as well. 

Fungal Keratitis Symptoms

  • Eye pain 

  • Eye redness 

  • Discharge from the eyes 

  • Blurry vision 

  • Sensitivity to light 

  • Excess tearing 

In case any of these are experienced then there is a chance that you may have fungal keratitis eye infection and one must rush to their eye doctor immediately to check for fungal keratitis. Fungal Keratitis can cause vision loss or blindness if left untreated. 

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Fungal Keratitis Causes

There are multiple reasons why fungal keratitis may be caused. The most common reason is eye trauma caused by a thorn, plant, or stick. But there are some other ways one could contract fungal keratitis such as 

  • Eye trauma 

  • An underlying eye disease 

  • Weak immunity 

  • Usage of contact lenses 

Fungal keratitis at one point became extremely common amongst contact lens users. Thus it is extremely important that contact lens wearers are extremely cautious with their contact lens usage to avoid fungal keratitis. Contact lenses must be used with utmost care and caution. The doctors at Dr. Agarwal’s can provide you with some great tips on how to take care of your lenses. 

Risk factors of corneal ulcer (keratitis)

  • Injury or chemical burns

  • Eyelid disorders that prevent proper functioning of the eyelid

  • Dry eyes

  • Contact lens wearers

  • people who have or have had cold sores, chicken pox or shingles

  • Abuse of steroid eye drops

  • Diabetics


Fungal Keratitis Prevention

The best you can prevent fungal keratitis is to ensure that contact lens users ensure the most care with their contact lenses. The most common way to contract fungal keratitis is through mud and vegetable produce thus those who work in agriculture and agriculture-related industries should ensure that they wear eye gear while dealing with the produce. 

Fungal Keratitis Diagnosis

The diagnosis of fungal keratitis happens through a simple procedure where the ophthalmologist scrapes a tiny segment of your eye and which is then sent to a laboratory for further testing. 

Fungal Keratitis Treatment

The treatment for fungal keratitis primarily involves antifungal medication. The course of fungal keratitis is over several months and involves oral and skin antifungal medication. In case fungal keratitis doesn’t subside because of this medication then in some cases surgeries such as corneal transplantation may be required. Experts at Dr. Agarwal’s can help you battle fungal keratitis and provide the highest possible care for the same! 


Dr. Preethi Naveen – Training Committee Chair – Dr. Agarwals Clinical Board


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