I am searching for some information. My brother-in-law has shingles in his eye. His eye is completely swollen shut. What exactly is shingles and how did it get in his eye. Is this condition serious? Thank you.
Sorry to hear about your brother and his eye. I, too, had facial shingles that went into my eye, back in July of this year! It's been a bad experience, but I've had good medical care. I see an opthalmologist every 3 to 4 weeks and am now seeing a corneal specialist. I developed epi scleritis (inflamation of the white portion of the eye) and am on prednizone drops for the 4th time now! Also, I was put back on Valtrex (antiviral medication) by mouth and my eye is getting better, but due to alot of dryness, I use Systane drops in between the others. Thank God the cornea is ok due to good medical attention. I urge you to see a good opthalmologist, who has treated shingles of the eye--God Bless!
The eyes are sometimes affected by herpes zoster. This is due to the fact that the eyes are connected to nerves that may be infected with the herpes zoster virus. The usual shingles rash can spread from an involved area of the forehead or cheek to the upper or lower eyelids. Shingles may cause redness of the conjunctiva (the mucous membrane covering the white of the eye). It can also cause small scratches or scarring of the cornea. The scratches on the cornea may increase the risk of bacterial infection in the eye. Shingles may also cause inflammation inside the eye, known as iritis or uveitis. It can also affect the optic nerve or the retina.
Herpes zoster infections of the eye can lead to redness, swelling, pain, sensitivity to light, and blurred vision. Severe or repeated episodes of herpes zoster infection are associated with other eye conditions.
Treatment of the symptoms of shingles through compresses and pain relievers is usually recommended by doctors. Lubricating eyedrops or antibiotic eye drops may aso be prescribed. The use of antiviral medications may be recommended by your doctor. The medication most commonly prescribed is acyclovir. Occasionally, steroids may be prescribed to reduce inflammation.
By its very nature, herpes zoster infections are prone to return from time to time, especially when the immune system is weakened. Early diagnosis and treatment is important to minimize the symptoms and reduce the risk of complications that may compromise vision.