Herpes Zoster (Shingles)
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Shingles is a reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox. If you have had chickenpox, the virus can live on within your nerve cells for years after the sores have gone away. In some people, the varicella-zoster virus reactivates later in life, travels through the nerve fibers, and emerges in the cornea. If this happens, your eye care professional may prescribe oral anti-viral treatment to reduce the risk of inflammation and scarring in the cornea. Shingles can also cause decreased sensitivity in the cornea.
Corneal problems may arise months after the shingles are gone from the rest of the body. If you experience shingles in your eye, or nose, or on your face, it’s important to have your eyes examined several months after the shingles have cleared.
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