Neurotrophic Keratitis

Neurotrophic Keratitis

Neurotrophic keratitis is a rare condition that causes a decrease in the corneal sensitivity and the ability of the cornea to protect itself against injury. It is caused by damage to the sensory nerves in the cornea, which can lead to vision loss if not treated in a timely manner. It is a serious condition, but treatment options are available. This article will explain what Neurotrophic Keratitis is, the symptoms and signs, causes, risk factors, diagnosis, treatment options, and prevention measures.

What Is Neurotrophic Keratitis?

Neurotrophic Keratitis (NK) is an eye condition that occurs when the nerves in the cornea, the transparent front layer of the eye, become damaged or fail to work correctly. This results in decreased sensitivity of the cornea, and can eventually cause vision loss if not treated. The disease can occur in both eyes or just one eye, and is slow to develop but can progress quickly if left untreated.

Symptoms and Signs of Neurotrophic Keratitis

The most common symptom of Neurotrophic Keratitis is dry eyes. Other signs and symptoms include redness, pain, blurred vision, excessive tearing, light sensitivity, and decreased vision. In some cases, the vision loss can become severe and lead to total blindness.

Causes and Risk Factors

Neurotrophic Keratitis occurs when the nerves in the cornea become damaged or fail to work correctly. This can be caused by a variety of conditions, including:

  • Tumors or other growths on the cornea
  • Aging or degeneration of the corneal nerves
  • Eye surgery or an injury that damages the corneal nerves
  • A decreased tear production
  • Infections or diseases that affect the nerves in the cornea
  • Diabetes or an autoimmune disorder

Diagnosis and Treatment Options

To diagnose Neurotrophic Keratitis, your doctor will perform a physical and dilated eye exam, and may also request additional tests, such as an MRI or biopsy of the corneal nerves. Once the diagnosis is confirmed, your doctor will discuss treatment options, which may include:

  • Artificial tear drops
  • Omega-3 supplements
  • Corneal transplant
  • Laser therapy
  • Corneal bandage contact lenses
  • Corneal implants


The best way to prevent Neurotrophic Keratitis is to be aware of any risk factors that you have and to take measures to reduce them. This includes maintaining good blood sugar levels if you have diabetes, avoiding exposure to ultraviolet radiation, and protecting the eyes with sunglasses or a visor when outdoors. Additionally, it’s important to be aware of any signs and symptoms of Neurotrophic Keratitis and to seek prompt medical attention if any are noticed.