Shingles in the eye

1st December, 2020 • 1 min read

Shingles
is a viral infection of a nerve and the skin around it. The nerves affected can include those that supply the surface of the forehead, eye, eyelids and nose. The virus that causes shingles is called varicella-zoster virus (VZV).

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When it affects the eye, it’s called ophthalmic shingles or herpes zoster ophthalmicus.

If you develop shingles in your eye, you may first notice tingling in your forehead, a headache and fever, and you may feel generally unwell.

You may then develop a rash, pain or sensitivity in the affected eye, forehead and top of your head.

How is shingles in the eye treated?

Shingles in the eye is a serious condition that needs urgent medical attention. See a doctor or go to hospital immediately if you think you have it.

A doctor may give you antiviral drugs and steroid eye drops. You can also manage the symptoms by taking

painkillers
as needed and putting a wet compress on your eye. Speak to a doctor or pharmacist for advice about the best painkillers to take, where to get them and how to take them safely.

Important: Our website provides useful information but is not a substitute for medical advice. You should always seek the advice of your doctor when making decisions about your health.