DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Herpes zoster of the eye. Close-up of the eye of a 60-year-old woman affected by herpes zoster. Herpes zoster or "shingles" is caused by varicella-zoster virus, the cause of chickenpox. Viruses lying dormant in the nerves for years can re-emerge if the immune system declines. Symptoms involve a painful blistering skin rash. Elderly individuals are vulnerable to eye infections known as ophthalmic herpes zoster. Here, sore, blister- ing skin around the eye can be seen. The infected eye is red, inflamed and watering. Complications can be serious and visual impairment may result. Treatment must be given early and should be supervised by an ophthalmologist.
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