Herpes Zoster Opthalmicus is a disease that can affect the ocular and extra ocular areas. It occurs due to infection of varicella in the ophthalmic division of trigeminal nerve. Herpes Zoster Conjunctivitis is the most commonly occurring type of zoster infection to eyes. Herpes zoster also causes hyperesthesia of skin and periorbital edema. Herpes zoster Opthalmicus can also cause scleritis and episcleritis.
Herpes zoster corneal disease can lead to loss of vision. Herpes zoster keratitis is differentiated into five forms- Epithelial, Nummular, Disciform, Limbal and Neurotrophic.
Varicella zoster conjunctivitis is seen to occur mainly to less percentage of children suffering from chicken pox. In this disease anterior parts of the eye are involved.
Herpes zoster conjunctivitis can be associated with skin rash along with the ophthalmic symptoms. The disease has significant indicator called Hutchinson sign around and above the nose. Another popular symptom which indicates ophthalmologist consultation is visual acuity. Ocular infection is unilateral. Associated symptoms like fever, nausea, vomiting, skin lesions can exist. Vesicles occur on eyelids and face. Herpes zoster Conjunctivitis begins with papillary type and may later develop into follicular.
Herpes Zoster Opthalmicus can be related to conjunctivitis, keratitis and uveitis. Permanent symptoms can be loss of vision, ocular inflammation and intense pain.
Ocular symptoms are seen 72 hours later the Herpes zoster infection.
Herpes zoster conjunctivitis is caused by the primary infections of chicken pox or secondary infection of zoster. It can also be caused due to contact of infectious respiratory secretions. It is usually seen in children affected with chicken pox but can also occur in all age groups.
Herpes zoster conjunctivitis is usually self limiting and diminishes in one week. But can become aggressive occasionally.
Treatment starts from maintaining good hygienic conditions to avoid the spread of infection further. Cold compresses can help to relieve the symptoms. Topical ocular lubricating drops are used along with the antivirals. Antivirals like acyclovir can be topically applied for the Herpes conjunctivitis.
Herpes zoster Conjunctivitis caused by the infection can be membranous, follicular, papillary and pseudomembranous.