Recognizing the Signs: A Guide to Keratitis Symptoms and Types

Harman Kaur
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Dr. Kaushal

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Keratitis Symptoms

Keratitis is an inflammation of the cornea. This transparent, dome-shaped tissue covers the pupil and iris in the front of the eye. 

Mild damage, such as the prolonged wearing of contact lenses, could be a reason for noninfectious keratitis.

Moreover, obstructing a foreign object in the eye can also cause the same. 

Infectious keratitis may result from bacteria, viruses, fungi, or parasites.

If you experience red eyes or other keratitis symptoms, visit an eye doctor. 

According to Morbidity and Mortality report, one million clinical visits for keratitis occur.

Mild to moderate keratitis cases are treatable without harming eyesight. 

Keratitis can cause irreversible vision loss if left untreated or if the infection is severe. 

Thus, this article will take you through all the possible Keratitis symptoms to help you detect your condition. 

Keratitis Symptoms

Signs and symptoms that tell you about keratitis include, 

Eye Pain and WateringSource: pixelshot
Keratitis Symptoms

Blurry vision

Vision impairment is caused by cloudiness in the lens’ outermost layer.

A cataract scatters light as it travels through the lens.

This inhibits the retina from receiving a clearly defined image.

Hence, this results in blurry vision that worsens with age and loss of sight.

Sensitivity to light

Photophobia is often triggered in keratitis patients. 

The sensitivity to light also causes pain in the eyes. 

The growth of keratitis makes it difficult for light to enter the eye. 

Since light is scattered, people may experience glare and light sensitivity.

Stronger light sources, such as overhead lighting or sunshine, may appear excessively harsh to your eyes.

Decreased vision

The blurriness and cloudiness get severe and cause vision loss in the patients. 

The lens starts becoming opaque to dead protein accumulation on the eye lenses. 

At the beginning of keratitis, patients might experience frequent changes in the prescription eye lens. 

However, the rapid change in eyesight could indicate dense cloudiness in the lens. 

Red eyes

Eye redness, often known as bloodshot eyes, can be indicative of a variety of health conditions.

Some of these conditions are minor, while others require immediate medical attention.

The redness in your eyes can cause allergies, scleritis, driness, and many other things. 

Eye pain

Some frequent causes of eye pain usually center around the eyes.

These include the Cornea, Scalera (white of the eye), and a thin layer that covers it known as the Conjunctiva.

The muscles that control the eye, the nerves, and the eyelids can also be sources of eye pain.

The pain can be related to our daily lifestyle and the pressure we put on our eyes. 

Types of keratitis

There are two main types of keratitis. They are classified as infectious or noninfectious.

Infectious keratitis

The following are the causes of infectious keratitis:


The two most prevalent forms of bacteria that cause bacterial keratitis are Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus. It primarily affects individuals who abuse their contacts.


Aspergillus, Candida, or Fusarium may cause fungal keratitis.

Similarly, contact lens wearers are particularly susceptible to fungal keratitis.

Nonetheless, getting in contact with the fungus is possible in an open environment.


The parasite thrives outside and can be acquired by swimming. It can be due to getting in contact with contaminated water. 

This infection is referred to as Acanthamoeba keratitis.


Herpes simplex virus is the primary cause of viral keratitis, progressing from conjunctivitis to keratitis.

Noninfectious keratitis

Possible causes of this keratitis are:

  • Eye injury, which is a scratch
  • Exposure to intense sunlight is called photokeratitis
  • Using extended-wear contacts
  • Wearing your contact lenses for too long
  • Living in a warm climate increases the risk of plant materials damaging your cornea
  • Not removing contact while swimming
  • Weak immune system

Is keratitis contagious?

Keratitis treatmentSource: siniehinaalona
Keratitis treatment

Keratitis can be transferred through infections. This can occur if you touch your eyes after contacting an infectious substance. 

It can also occur when an infection extends from the body to the eyes.

In some instances, it is possible to transfer keratitis to oneself. For example, if you have an open herpes sore, contacting it before touching the eye area can cause this illness.

Noninfectious keratitis is not transmittable. These instances become infectious only when an infection develops.


Keratitis symptoms can cause visual difficulties. 

These symptoms can worsen as the keratitis grows, leading to complete vision loss. 

Timely identification of the symptoms and treatment can prevent blindness

Hence, if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, contact your doctor immediately. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the symptoms of bacterial keratitis?

Various symptoms can lead to bacterial keratitis. Some range from eye pain, redness of the eye, blurry vision, light sensitivity, and excessive tearing in the eyes.

What are the symptoms of herpes simplex keratitis?

Symptoms like a prodrome of forehead pain or tingling can cause herpes simplex keratitis. In addition to a painful forehead rash, symptoms and indicators of acute disease can include severe ocular pain, prominent eyelid edema, and photophobia.

What are the symptoms of Acanthamoeba keratitis?

Sensing something in the eye increases tear production, light sensitivity, and blurred vision. These are a few symptoms of Acanthamoeba keratitis.

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