Herpes Zoster Ophthalmicus & the Impact on Cranial Nerves

Herpes Zoster Ophthalmicus & the Impact on Cranial Nerves

Scientific BACKGROUND: Herpes zoster ophthalmicus represents aproximately 25% of all zoster infections. At the time of referral, she had already received oral acyclovir 800 mg 5 times a day for 10 days, given at the time of HZO. Although the acute stage is usually more or less painful, this is rather soon over; and it is the very disagreeable, persistent, painful, burning hyperesthesia of the postherpetic neuralgia which excites the greatest interest. Encephalitis occurs more frequently in the presence of cutaneous dissemination and cranial nerve lesions. However, when HZ is confirmed, treatment with oral antiviral therapy and/or oral corticosteroids along with monitoring the individual usually results in a self-limiting ophthalmoplegia that improves on its own over several months. It has no sensory action. As the nerve that controls chewing and mandible function, the herpes simplex virus, when damaging this nerve, leads to impairments in these motor skills.

Herpes Zoster Ophthalmicus & the Impact on Cranial Nerves
Full text Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Known as herpes zoster ophthalmicus, the person who suffers from this complication will experience swelling around the eyes, damaging the cornea and other related structures. There were no specific findings in other physical examinations. In a few cases of herpes zoster ophthalmicus, a rash may develop. However, in many cases, no rash is present. When the rash does develop, it is usually limited to the area just above and around the eye area. As the viral infection lies dormant, with periodic reactivation, the herpes patient will begin to notice, after a few years, a scarring development around the cornea and iris.

The patient was started on intravenous acyclovir at 1,500 mg/day. If you suffer from herpes zoster ophthalmicus, it is important to seek medical attention from a healthcare professional each time your eyes begin to feel swollen, painful, and full of pressure or a rash develops. With the use of cold compresses, steroids and antiviral medications, such as Acyclovir, the progression of disease may be slowed. She was started on oral acyclovir 400 mg bd for 4 weeks along with a tapering dose of prednisolone acetate 1% eyedrops 6 times/day. As with any viral infection, the key to your vision health lies in the early diagnosis and treatment. When suffering from any type of eye pain, including swelling, pressure and redness, seek medical attention from an ophthalmologist as soon as possible. When considering diagnoses, if you’ve previously been diagnosed with Epstein-Barr, herpes simplex or any other herpes related viral strain, this information should be related to your physician as your eye disorder may also be a complication secondary to the herpes infection.

Lesions affecting the red nucleus or cerbral peduncles cause ipsilateral flapping tremor or contralateral hemiplegia respectively.

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