According to MedlinePlus, it’s estimated that up to 20 percent of cases of shingles cases appear in or around the eye, which can cause permanent vision impairment.right up arrow
Prompt antiviral treatment can reduce the risk of chronic eye complications by 20 to 30 percent, according to an article published in March 2020 in Community Eye Health.right up arrow
If shingles are in the eye, they most often show up inside the eyelid and on the surface or the eyeball, says Rebecca Taylor, MD, an ophthalmologist with Nashville Vision Associates in Tennessee.
On the surface, says Dr. Taylor, they mainly show up on the cornea, which is the clear dome of tissue that covers your iris (where you put your contact lenses), and the conjunctiva — the clear tissue that covers the whites of your eye and the inside of your eyelid.
“If shingles is in these places,” she says, “you’ll be prescribed eye drops with steroids to calm the lesions, and lubricating tears for comfort.”
If you have had shingles in your eye, says Taylor, your eye doctor will monitor you for 3 to 12 months to make sure that your eye is returning to health and that no new developments have occurred. You may also be encouraged to have a yearly eye exam (if you don’t already) until otherwise instructed by your eye doctor.