Rare eye inflammation linked with chickenpox, shingles vaccine

By: Devon Andre | Eye Health | Tuesday, January 26, 2016 - 01:00 PM

Rare-eye-inflammation-linked-with-chickenpox-shingles-vaccineChickenpox and shingles vaccine have been linked with a rare eye inflammation affecting the cornea. Although cases are small, the association still remains.

“Keratitis, or inflammation of the clear layer on the front of the eye, is a vision issue that can cause serious complications or even permanent damage to your vision if left untreated,” said Dr. Frederick Fraunfelder in a news release.

The researchers found 20 cases of keratitis among children and adults within one month of receiving the vaccines. In adults, symptoms appear within 24 days, and in children symptoms appear within 14 days.

Even though there appears to be an association between chickenpox and shingles vaccine and keratitis, the researchers did not reveal the cause-and-effect connection. Furthermore, they still urge people to receive the vaccines, as it is beneficial for their overall health.

“While this is a rare occurrence, it’s important for physicians to know when giving the vaccine to individuals who have a history of the condition because it could be reactivated by the vaccine,” Dr. Franfelder added.

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