In recent studies by Dr. Deborah Langston and Dr. Pedram Hamrah, in vivo confocal microscopy revealed for the first times profound Herpes simplex virus-induced changes in the superficial epithelium, as demonstrated by increase in cell size, decrease in cell density, and sick-appearing cells, not seen with standard slit-lamp examination. These changes strongly correlated with abnormalities in changes observed in corneal nerves and loss of feeling in the cornea. Changes in the corneal nerves were also observed in the “normal” eye of these patients.
Further, similar studies in patients with Herpes zoster of the eye revealed similar but more severe changes, thus explaining the often more severe disease with shingles. Other unique findings revealed that damage by either virus was bilateral with shingles as well, even though only one eye appeared to be clinically involved.
Current Studies for Ocular Herpes:
Clinical image of Herpes zoster in the eye