b. Signs/Symptoms. A sign likely to be displayed by the patient is a "dendrite,"
a figure stain pattern on the cornea. The dendrite may appear in a number of other
configurations. The keratitis stage has particular signs and symptoms. The patient at
this stage may display mild irritation and infection (redness) of the conjunctiva. He may
also have mild tearing, photophobia (eyes unusually sensitive and uncomfortable in
light), and some degree of haziness in sharpness of vision. The symptoms may
increase in severity as keratitis advances to the ulcer stage.
c. Treatment. Treatment of herpes simplex includes topical application of
idoxuridine 1 percent (Stoxil) drops or ointment as prescribed by a doctor. It is
necessary to be cautious when administering this drug to pregnant women or women of
childbearing potential. If no signs of healing are apparent within three to five days,
debridement is done with a cotton-tipped applicator. If healing is not apparent within a
week, refer the patient to ophthalmology.
a. Description. The uveal tract includes the iris, the ciliary body, and the
choroid. Any inflammation of the uveal tract (the iris, the ciliary body, and the choroid)
is termed uveitis. Anterior uveitis is inflammation primarily of the iris. Posterior uveitis
or retinochoroiditis is inflammation of the choroid (usually also inflammation of the
b. Signs/Symptoms. A patient suffering from uveitis may have several signs
and symptoms. The iris may be swollen and cloudy causing brown eyes to appear
muddy and blue or gray eyes to seem dull or greenish. The pupil is often distorted by
adhesions (synechias) to the lens. Extreme pain and photophobia (abnormal
intolerance of or fear of light) along with occasional blurring of vision and transient
myopia (nearsightedness) may be present. The pain may radiate to the forehead and
temple. The patient's eye may seem to be severely infected and red with no discharge
and a decrease in pupil size (less than 2 mm (normal being 4 mm)).
c. Treatment. It is important to diagnose and treat uveitis early to prevent the
formation of posterior synechiae (adhesions of the iris to the cornea or to the lens of the
eye). For treatment of this condition, refer the patient to the ophthalmology clinic. It
takes from one to three weeks for uveitis to clear up. Recurrences of the condition are
a. Description. A cataract is any opacity of the lens or its capsule. That is, the
lens or its capsule loses its transparency; light cannot pass through the lens. The result
is increasing loss of vision finally resulting in blindness unless treated. A person who
has cataracts will usually be affected in both eyes.