They are a significant cause of acute red eye and visual loss any part of the eye and adnexa from the eyelids to the retina and optic nerve can be affected by viral disease some ocular viral infections such as viral conjunctivitis due to adenovirus or influenza virus are short lived with limited ocular complications. Herpes simplex virus c alexey godzenko shutterstock viral infections of the eye can affect any part of the eye and surrounding tissues they are a significant cause of acute red eye and visual loss in this issue we present an overview of the most common and important ocular viral infections including diagnosis management and prevention. The herpes simplex virus well known for causing cold sores on the face can also cause a viral eye infection in most cases of ocular herpes the virus will infect the cornea the clear front window of your eye this will usually result in redness discomfort light sensitivity and vision changes. One of the infections that cause herpetic eye disease is called the varicella zoster virus it is the same infection that causes chickenpox and shingles when this infection affects the eye it is called herpes zoster ophthalmicus the other infection that triggers herpetic eye disease is called herpes simplex type 1
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