November 2007, Volume 37 Number 11 , p 60 - 61
Snow, Michelle RN, BSN, MSHR, MSPH
Michelle Snow is an assistant professor in the Department of Health Administrative Services at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah. She's also completing her PhD in public health at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.
KERATITIS, or corneal inflammation, can be caused by myriad conditions ranging from a simple abrasion to infection with viruses (such as herpes simplex type 1), bacteria, fungi, or protozoa. These microorganisms enter the cornea through a defect in the corneal epithelium, where they proliferate and cause ulceration. Keratitis must be treated because it can cause permanent corneal scarring, perforation, and blindness.
Figure. This patient has keratitis and blepharitis, an inflammation of the eyelid. Administration of a fluorescent dye has revealed a corneal ulcer, shown here as a greenish area on the cornea.
In this article, I'll focus on bacterial and fungal keratitis.