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How can iridocyclitis be treated?

Q: I am a 26 years old girl with myopia and I had herpes in the right eye 6 years back. After that I have recurrent periods of itching and redness in the right eye. The doctor told me that I am suffering from iridiocyclitis; so, he gave me steroids both orally and eye drops. But another doctor said that I have uveitis. I am confused now. I have itching, redness but there is no pain, I cannot see clearly with my right eye; every thing looks opaque. My eye is slightly swollen and the eyeball has become smaller in size since past 4 years. I cannot tolerate light in the eye. What treatment should I take?

A:Iridocyclitis and uveitis are the same things just different names. Herpes is a virus infection, which usually starts in childhood like cold sores around mouth or lips. When you got herpes infection in your eye (fortunately it almost always affects only one eye!), you would have had corneal ulcer (Keratitis) and after healing it has left behind a scar in the cornea, just like anywhere else you get a scar after a cut. This scar causes your vision to be hazy and also increased sensitivity (Photophobia) to light. As the scar is usually superficial and herpes virus remains in it forever, the area is weaker than normal cornea and you must never rub it. Moreover, whenever you get common cold (or run down) this infection will reactivate itself. At this time the eye may become little painful, gritty and more sensitive to light. At this time it may also cause uveitis. You need prompt treatment (usually with Acyclovir or Zovirax eye ointment every 3 hrs); otherwise the ulcer will increase in size and affect your vision even more. Steroid treatment should not be used in this condition either orally or in the eye. Both the ulcer and steroid treatment causes bit of drooping of the eyelid (Ptosis) but it will never progress to close the eye completely. Never presume it is conjunctivitis or anything else unless eye specialist proves it and treat it as a recurrence. In India all sorts of doctors who have no knowledge of eye disease, treat it with steroids because it tends to give instant relief not realising its side effects.


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