Fungal keratitis is an infection of the cornea, which is the clear outer layer of the eye. The infection is caused by fungus. It can cause a sore called a corneal ulcer. The ulcer can cause swelling and cloudiness of the cornea and a decrease in your child’s vision. If not treated right away, fungal keratitis can cause blindness.
Fungus includes things like yeast, mold, and mildew. A fungus can live in air, in soil, on plants, and in water. Some live on or in the human body. Fungus cannot usually infect a healthy cornea. However, anything that causes a break or scratch in the cornea can lead to a fungal infection, such as:
A fungal infection of the cornea is more likely if your child has conditions that can weaken the cornea or weaken his ability to fight off infection, such as:
Symptoms may include:
Your eye care provider will ask about your child’s symptoms and medical history and do exams and tests such as:
Your child’s healthcare provider will prescribe eye drops to treat a fungal infection. At first, your child may need to use these eye drops every hour, even during the night. Your child may also need to take antifungal pills by mouth. Your child needs frequent or daily eye exams to make sure the infection is not getting worse.
Fungal keratitis can lead to a permanent scar on the cornea. If this scar limits your child’s vision, your provider may treat it with an eye patch, contact lens, laser treatment, or surgery.
Follow the full course of treatment your healthcare provider prescribes. Ask your child’s healthcare provider:
Make sure you know when your child should come back for a checkup. Keep all appointments for provider visits or tests.