Fungal keratitis

You are here:


Your Appointment

    What is Fungal keratitis?

    Understanding About
    Fungal keratitis

    Fungal keratitis (FK) is a significant eye infection, often triggered by factors like eye trauma, corticosteroid use, or contact lens wear. Diagnosis involves polymerase chain reaction, direct microscopic examination, and cultures.

     FK is treated with topical natamycin and voriconazole, with surgery sometimes necessary. It comprises 40% to 50% of all microbial keratitis cases, posing a threat of severe vision loss if untreated. Over 100 fungal species can cause FK, influenced by personal risk factors and environmental conditions.

     Diagnosis can be challenging, requiring a high index of suspicion, especially with specific risk factors. Treatment is difficult due to poor penetration of antifungal agents into the cornea.

    Fungal Keratitis FAQs

    Fungal Keratitis
    Your eye doctor will examine your eye and may possibly take a tiny scraping of your cornea. The sample will be sent to a laboratory to be analyzed.
    Fungal keratitis must be treated with prescription antifungal medicine for several months. Patients who do not get better with antifungal eye drops and oral medications may require surgery, including a cornea transplant.
    Wear protective eyewear when performing tasks that may put you at risk for eye trauma involving plants, such as agricultural work.

    Risks for developing fungal keratitis include

    • Recent eye trauma, particularly involving plants (for example, thorns or sticks)
    • Underlying eye disease
    • Weakened immune system
    • Contact lens use

    In 2006, CDC investigated an outbreak of Fusarium keratitis. The infections were associated with a specific type of contact lens solution, which was withdrawn from the market.

    Fusarium and Aspergillus species live in the environment.Candida species normally live on human skin and on mucous membranes (for example, the lining of the eyes, nose, or mouth). Fungal keratitis is most common in tropical and subtropical regions of the world but can also occur in areas of the world with milder temperatures.It cannot be spread from person to person.