Treatments and drugs

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Noninfectious keratitis

Treatment of noninfectious keratitis varies depending on the cause. If your keratitis is caused by a scratch or extended contact lens wear, you may not need any treatment. If you're having significant tearing and pain, you may need to apply prescription medicine to the eye and wear an eye patch until your condition improves.

Infectious keratitis

Treatment of infectious keratitis varies, depending on the cause of the infection.

  • Bacterial keratitis. For mild bacterial keratitis, antibacterial eyedrops may be all you need to effectively treat the infection. If the infection is moderate to severe, you may need to take oral antibiotics.
  • Fungal keratitis. Keratitis caused by fungi typically requires antifungal eyedrops and oral antifungal medication.
  • Viral keratitis. If a virus is causing the infection, antiviral eyedrops and oral antiviral medications may be effective. But these medications may not be able to eliminate the virus completely, and viral keratitis may recur.
  • Acanthamoeba keratitis. Keratitis that's caused by the tiny parasite acanthamoeba can be difficult to treat. Antibiotic eyedrops may be helpful, but some acanthamoeba infections are resistant to medication.

If keratitis that doesn't respond to medication, or if it causes permanent damage to the cornea that significantly impairs your vision, your doctor may recommend a cornea transplant.

Sept. 10, 2015