What are Shingles in the Eye?

Mon Aug 08 2022

We all are aware of the importance of eyes in children’s development and how they contribute to the world around us. Therefore, having routine eye exams can maintain the health of their eyes and detect any visual issues. Many issues and eye conditions are treatable, especially if discovered early.

Shingles in the eye is one such eye condition. Read this page to know everything about Shingles in the eye.

What Is Shingles In The Eye?

Before getting anywhere, you should know that you may still experience ophthalmic shingles if you had chickenpox as a kid. Shingles can create issues anywhere in your body, including in your eyes. Along with the other uncomfortable and sometimes hazardous symptoms of the virus, shingles in the eye regions can impair eyesight.

Now let’s begin with the basic definition of what this eye problem is all about. If you’re not already aware, remember that the varicella-zoster virus, which causes shingles, does not replicate while it is present in the eyes. Years after you initially experienced chickenpox; the virus can cause shingles, a painful rash. 

Some people who get shingles develop a rash on or near their eyes. Herpes zoster ophthalmicus is the name for the shingles rash that grows on the eye. Most of the time, shingles although can affect the eye, the surrounding face areas, and less common body sections like the back or chest but vision due to central involvement may be spared.

Shingles In The Eyes: Symptoms

There is a distinction between shingles that occur in the eye and those that appear around the eye when it comes to eye shingles. 

  • You might notice them on your sclera if you have shingles in your eyes. 
  • A more significant risk exists if you have shingles in your eye because they can still impair your eyesight and even result in blindness. 
  • Doctors refer to a rash as having “eye involvement” when it surrounds your eye but does not extend into it. 
  • Typically, shingles only affect one side of the body at a time. This implies that the virus is unlikely to transfer to the other side of your face, even if you develop a severe rash in or around one eye.

The following shingles in the eye symptoms include:

  • Blisters
  • Rash on face
  • Pain in eyes
  • Reduction in eyesight
  • Watery eye
  • Light sensitivity
  • Facial tingling

You can also suffer more widespread shingles symptoms, such as headache, low-grade fever, exhaustion, and flu-like signs and symptoms. Typically, shingles start as nerve pain before developing into a red rash on the affected areas.

When Can You Have Shingles In Your Eyes?

If you had chickenpox as a child, you are more prone to get shingles. Although shingles’ symptoms can occur in teenagers and young adults, adults over 50 are more likely to have them. You have an increased risk of developing shingles, particularly around the eye, if you have a weak immune system due to factors like aging, cancer treatment such as chemotherapy, HIV, or an autoimmune illness.

Treatment: Shingles In The Eyes

Antiviral drugs like acyclovir, famciclovir, and valacyclovir work well to treat ocular shingles. These drugs help the rash heal more quickly, treat shingles blisters, stop the virus from spreading, and reduce nerve discomfort brought on by the rash.

Anyone who thinks they may have shingles in their eye should immediately consult an eye doctor or the emergency department, as well as their regular care physician. Eye shingles can result in significant consequences such as vision loss.

Here are some best shingles in eye treatment options:

  • Antiviral drugs:

These are available as tablets or liquids. For optimum efficiency, the drug should be taken as soon as possible.

  • Eye drops:

These can be used to treat infections or to keep the eyes moist.

  • Cool compresses:

A doctor may advise applying a cool, damp cloth over the eyes to relieve pain.

  • Painkillers:

The degree of pain and other factors will determine the best course of treatment.

An eye affected by shingles is a dangerous problem. So when the shingles rash appears on the face, you should consult a doctor immediately.

Why Centre For Sight?

Do get in touch with us at Centre For Sight if you have Shingles in your eyes. We are quality-driven & NABH accredited, and our mission is to provide the best possible care to everyone. 

Centre For Sight provides complete, state-of-the-art eye care services at all locations. We also offer the best amenities in the country that meet international standards. Contact us to know more about it

Article: What are Shingles in the Eye?
Author: CFS Editorial Team   |   AUG 8 2022 | UPDATED 02:23 IST

*The views expressed here are solely those of the author in his private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of Centre for Sight.

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