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Opthalmologic Exam

What? You Can Get Herpes in Your Eyes? [+ Video]

When you think of herpes, you probably think of a sexually transmitted disease that causes pain and discomfort in the genitals. Did you know, however, that what we call “herpes” is actually a set of diseases, and that one of the viruses in the herpes family can affect your eyes? As the video below explains, this is true, but there are medications available that can help treat this problem.

What Types of Herpes Virus Affect the Eye?

Herpes simplex one (HSV-1), which is the same form of the virus that causes cold sores on and around the mouth, can also involve your eyes. When HSV-1 infects the eye, this can cause discomfort on the eyelid, the white of the eye, the cornea, or even internal structures of the eye.

When a patient suffers from herpes in the eye, they will often experience:

  • Redness
  • A feeling of scratchiness
  • Tearing
  • Irritation
  • Blurry vision

If you are experiencing these kinds of symptoms, it’s important that you visit an ophthalmologist, an eye doctor, to be diagnosed.

The herpes virus often goes dormant, and symptoms can disappear for a time, retreating into the nerve fibers of the body. Herpes never disappears, however, but often returns to the skin and sometimes the eyes. Patients tend to experience these outbreaks in warm weather, in the spring and summer months.

How Common Is the Herpes Virus?

If you are suffering from the herpes virus, know that you are not alone. The virus is very common. The Centers for Disease Control estimate that between 10 and 40 percent of all Americans are infected with the genital herpes virus (HSV-2), and many may not know that they are infected.

In the case of HSV-1, the type that can affect your eyes, researchers at Johns Hopkins estimate that even more people are affected. Scientists estimate that between 50 and 80 percent of all U.S. adults have oral herpes.

What Treatments are Available for the Herpes Virus?

While herpes cannot be cured, there are treatments that can alleviate the symptoms, and prevention is important. There are a number of steps that patients diagnosed with herpes can take to manage their symptoms. Reducing stress, applying cool compresses, and keeping sores clean and dry can all help patients feel better. The best and most effective treatments, however, are the antiviral medications acyclovir, Valtrex, and valacyclovir (which is the generic form of Valtrex).

These three popular and regularly prescribed medications are used to treat and manage the symptoms caused by both HSV-1 and HSV-2, including those experienced in the genital area, on and around the mouth, and in the eye.

Acyclovir is the generic form of the prescription drug Zovirax. Valacyclovir is the generic form of the brand-name Valtrex. All three drugs work by stopping the growth of viruses in the body, which minimizes the duration and severity of outbreaks. All are taken orally by mouth.

Have You Been Diagnosed with Herpes? Are You Looking for Relief?

Visit eDrugstore.com to speak with one of our doctors or pharmacists for free about which anti-viral medication will work best for you. You don’t need to continue to suffer; you can have a safe, professional, and private consultation from your home and receive your medications by mail. Our customer service staff is waiting to assist you seven days a week. ¡Se habla español!

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Elizabeth Nichols is an experienced and flexible author with extensive experience in both popular media and academic publishing. She specializes in health, medical and travel writing.