Menu   WellSpan Health

Health Library

Health Library


What is keratitis?

Keratitis is an inflammation or infection of the cornea of the eye. The cornea is the clear, dome-shaped surface that covers the front of the eye. Keratitis is a medical emergency because extensive involvement may lead to blindness.

What causes keratitis?

There are many different causes of keratitis. The following are some of the more common causes:

  • Bacteria

  • Vitamin A deficiencies

  • Viruses

  • Trauma (usually following insertion of an object into the eye)

  • Fungi

  • Parasites

What are the symptoms of keratitis?

The following are the most common symptoms of keratitis. However, each child may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

  • Pain and redness in the eye

  • Discomfort when the child looks at a light (photophobia)

  • Tearing, watery eyes, or discharge

  • Blurry vision

  • Feeling as if something is in the eye

The symptoms of keratitis may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your child's health care provider for a diagnosis.

How is keratitis diagnosed?

Keratitis is usually diagnosed based on a complete medical history and physical examination of your child. Cultures of the eye drainage are usually not required, but may be done to confirm the cause of the infection.

Treatment for keratitis

Specific treatment for keratitis will be determined by your child's health care provider based on:

  • Your child's age, overall health, and medical history

  • The extent of the disease

  • Your child's tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies

  • Expectations for the course of the disease

  • Your opinion or preference

Your child may be referred to an ophthalmologist or optometrist (eye care specialists) for treatment of this problem.

Keratitis - WellSpan Health

Online Medical Reviewer: Bogus, William J., OD, FAAO
Online Medical Reviewer: Sather, Rita, RN
Last Review Date: 2013-03-22T00:00:00
Last Modified Date: 2013-04-04T00:00:00
Posting Date: 2008-11-30T00:00:00
Published Date: 2013-04-04T00:00:00
Last Review Date: 2007-03-30T00:00:00
© 2015 WellSpan Health. All Rights Reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.

Are you sure you would like to cancel?

All information will be lost.

Yes No ×

About the provider search

This search will provide you with WellSpan Medical Group and Northern Lancaster County (Ephrata) Medical Group primary care physicians and specialists. If we don’t have a WellSpan Medical Group physician to meet your criteria, the search will expand to include community physicians who partner with WellSpan Medical Group physicians through the WellSpan Provider Network or provide care to patients on the Medical Staffs of WellSpan’s Hospitals.


Schedule Your Next Appointment Online with MyWellSpan

Use your MyWellSpan patient portal any time to view available appointments, and pick the date and time that best suits your schedule.

Go to MyWellSpan

New to this practice?

If you don't have a WellSpan primary care provider and would like to schedule a new patient appointment with a provider who is accepting patients, just log into your MyWellSpan account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to see the offices that are accepting new patients in relation to your zip code. If you are not enrolled in MyWellSpan, go to, call 1-866-638-1842 or speak with a member of the staff at a participating facility to sign up. New patient scheduling not available at all practices/programs.

Already a patient at this practice?

If you already have a relationship with a WellSpan practice, simply log into your account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to schedule an appointment with any provider or practice that already counts you as a patient. Online scheduling varies by practice/program.