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Herpes Simplex Virus

There are two types of HSV that commonly infect humans: type 1 (HSV-1) and 2 (HSV-2). HSV-2 causes genital herpes and is rarely seen in the eye. HSV-1 most commonly is responsible for cold sores on the lip, but also infections on the eye.  Once a patient is infected with the HSV virus, it is never fully eliminated, which allows it to recur throughout a patient’s lifetime.  There are about 500,000 eye infections involving HSV per year in the United States alone.


How is HSV treated?
HSV diagnosis is usually based on history and typical clinical appearance on examination. Occasionally, the diagnosis is aided by laboratory studies. The treatment, however, is much more complicated. In fact, treating individuals with ocular HSV is one of the most challenging conditions seen by the average ophthalmologist. This is because the virus can affect the eye many different ways and the appropriate treatment may vary not only from individual to individual but also, episode to episode. The following are ways HSV can affect the eye:

  • Blepharitis (eyelid and surrounding skin)
  • Epithelial or surface disease (dendritic)
  • Post-infectious ulcers (metaherpetic)
  • Stromal disease (involving the middle layer of the cornea)
  • Uveitis (inflammation of the inside of the eye)

Often times an individual may have more than one type of involvement at any given time. HSV is usually treated with topical medications. Sometimes it may require anti-viral agents and topical steroids.  In addition, there are now several new systemic antiviral drugs that can be used to treat the virus


Why Choose CEI?

Coastal Eye Institute (formerly Manatee Sarasota Eye Clinic) is one of the area’s largest ophthalmology practices featuring a comprehensive team of fellowship-trained ophthalmologists in every subspecialty of eye care.From infancy to the golden years...we provide care for the total health of your eyes. Trust your eye care to our specialists!


Coastal Eye Institute has fellowship-trained ophthalmologists in every specialty of eye care:

  • ➢ Laser Cataract Surgery
  • ➢ Glaucoma
  • ➢ Macular Degeneration
  • ➢ Diabetic Retinopathy
  • ➢ Dry Eye Disease
  • ➢ LASIK Laser Vision Correction
  • ➢ Neuro-Ophthalmology
  • ➢ Pediatric Eye Care
  • ➢ Routine Eye Care
Schedule an Appointment

We are happy to work with your busy schedule! With nine physicians and four offices, we are confident we can find a time, day and location that is convenient for you. Call 941-748-1818 and let us help you on your way to seeing more clearly!


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