How is the eye involved in the herpes zoster ophthalmicus (HZO)?

Updated: Jan 25, 2019
  • Author: Camila K Janniger, MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Answer

In the absence of prompt detection and treatment, eye involvement poses a risk to vision. The presence of orbital edema is an ophthalmologic emergency, and patients must be referred immediately for specialized ophthalmic evaluation and treatment. Iritis, iridocyclitis, glaucoma, and corneal tissue ulcerations are possible in these cases. Involvement of the area below the palpebral fissure alone, without upper eyelid or nasal involvement, is considered less likely to result in ocular complications, in that the superior maxillary nerve innervates the lower eyelid.


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