Immune Mediated Keratitis
a condition in which spontaneous over-activity of the eye surface immune system results in corneal inflammation
What is it?
Immune Mediated Keratitis is a little understood group of inflammatory diseases of the cornea. It is generally a somewhat non-painful condition confined to the cornea.
What causes it?
This condition generally occurs when the local immune-system of the eye surface spontaneously becomes over-active. Blood vessels grow into the cornea, and corneal erosions or ulcerations can develop.
What are the symptoms?
Its appearance may vary, depending on the depth of the corneal layers affected. Symptoms can include inflammation of the cornea (the clear front part of the eye); some redness of the conjunctiva around the eye; and cloudiness caused by corneal erosions or ulcerations. Eyes can appear quite painful, with increased tearing, squinting and sensitivity to light.
Who is susceptible to it?
This is a non-breed specific disease which can affect cats, dogs and horses.
How is it treated?
The treatment for this condition is topical (eye drop or ointment) steroids, and may be combined with topical cyclosporine therapy. Clinical signs usually resolve within a few weeks and medications are tapered over 2-3 months. Some patients relapse when medications are tapered or discontinued, and have a long term requirement for topical therapy in order to maintain remission of the condition and preserve vision.
If there is only minimal or partial improvement of the condition with topical therapy, additional diagnostic and treatment options will be recommended.