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.