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Keratitis is inflammation of the cornea. The cornea is the clear layer that covers the front of your eye. Keratitis may develop in one or both eyes.

Eye Anatomy


Return to the emergency department if:

  • You have severe eye pain.
  • You have a sudden change in your vision.
  • You suddenly lose your vision.
  • Your symptoms do not go away within 48 hours.

Call your ophthalmologist if:

  • You have a fever.
  • Your symptoms get worse, even after treatment.
  • You have pus draining from your eye.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.


  • Medicines may be given to decrease pain, inflammation, or prevent infection. These may be given as eye drops or pills.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Manage or prevent keratitis:

  • Do not wear contact lenses until your symptoms are gone. When you do wear contacts, use them correctly. Do not wear them for longer than your doctor says you should. Clean and store them properly.
  • Wear safety equipment when you work, garden, or play sports. Do not rub your eyes while you work with wood or metal.
  • Wash your hands often. Wash your hands several times each day. Wash after you use the bathroom, change a child's diaper, and before you prepare or eat food. Use soap and water every time. Rub your soapy hands together, lacing your fingers. Wash the front and back of your hands, and in between your fingers. Use the fingers of one hand to scrub under the fingernails of the other hand. Wash for at least 20 seconds. Rinse with warm, running water for several seconds. Then dry your hands with a clean towel or paper towel. Use hand sanitizer that contains alcohol if soap and water are not available. Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth without washing your hands first.
  • Eye patches may be used over the eye for comfort. Patches are generally used for 24 hours.
    Eye Patch

Follow up with your ophthalmologist in 24 to 48 hours or as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Keratitis (Aftercare Instructions)

Associated drugs

IBM Watson Micromedex

Symptoms and treatments

Mayo Clinic Reference

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.