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Expected Duration

Keratitis caused by a virus or bacterium tends to get better relatively quickly. Herpes keratitis and bacterial keratitis are treated with antiviral medication or antibiotics. Keratitis caused by other viruses usually gets better on their own within a few days.

If keratitis is related only to contact lenses, the duration tends to be brief.

Keratitis caused by autoimmune disease, some parasites or prior injury can be difficult to treat and may be long lasting (chronic). In these cases, permanent damage to the cornea with impaired vision may occur despite intense treatment.

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From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.

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