A review of filamentary keratitis

      Abstract

      Filamentary keratitis (FK) is characterized by the presence of filaments on the corneal surface that are often associated with symptoms of foreign body sensation, irritation, and eye pain. FK is associated with a variety of ocular and systemic conditions, most notably dry eye disease. These filaments are composed primarily of epithelium, mucus, and cellular debris; however, their pathogenesis remains an area of debate. Aggravating factors for FK include desiccation, inflammatory mediators, as well as eyelid mechanical forces. Management consists of addressing associated conditions, especially dry eye disease, and providing medical and procedural treatments to alleviate symptoms and restore the ocular surface. Mainstay treatments include filament removal, increased lubrication with artificial tears and punctal occlusion, hypertonic saline, antiinflammatory and mucolytic medications, and autologous serum eye drops, as well as bandage contact lenses. A stepwise approach is required to manage patients with acute or chronic FK. Prolonged therapy is often necessary to prevent recurrence of this bothersome condition.

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