Nursing Care Plan For Keratitis

Nursing Care Plan For Keratitis


Keratitis is a painful and potentially sight-threatening eye condition characterized by inflammation of the cornea, the transparent front part of the eye. It can result from various causes, including infections, trauma, contact lens wear, or underlying systemic conditions. Nursing care for individuals with keratitis is essential to alleviate symptoms, prevent complications, and support the healing process.

A nursing care plan for keratitis focuses on providing comprehensive care that addresses the patient’s eye health, pain management, and emotional well-being. Nurses play a critical role in educating patients about the condition, assisting with treatment modalities, and monitoring for potential complications.

This care plan aims to guide nurses in delivering patient-centered care, emphasizing the importance of eye protection, pain relief, infection prevention, and patient education. By doing so, nurses contribute to the patient’s comfort, vision preservation, and overall quality of life during their journey to recovery from keratitis.

Nursing Assessment for Keratitis:

Assessing a patient with keratitis is essential to understand the severity of the condition, identify potential causes, and plan appropriate interventions. Here is a comprehensive nursing assessment for keratitis:

1. Chief Complaint and History:

  • Begin by obtaining the patient’s chief complaint, including the duration and nature of eye symptoms (e.g., pain, redness, blurred vision).
  • Ask about any history of eye trauma, foreign body sensation, contact lens use, or recent eye infections.
  • Inquire about the patient’s medical history, allergies, and any systemic conditions that may contribute to eye problems (e.g., autoimmune diseases, diabetes).

2. Visual Assessment:

  • Assess visual acuity using a Snellen chart or other appropriate methods.
  • Document any changes in visual acuity compared to the patient’s baseline or the unaffected eye.
  • Note any photophobia (light sensitivity) or difficulties with near or distance vision.

3. Eye Examination:

  • Observe the affected eye for redness, swelling, discharge, and any visible corneal opacities or ulcers.
  • Inspect the eyelids and eyelashes for signs of infection or blockage of the meibomian glands.
  • Assess the conjunctiva for redness, irritation, and chemosis (conjunctival swelling).

4. Pain Assessment:

  • Evaluate the patient’s level of ocular pain using a pain scale (e.g., 0-10).
  • Ask the patient to describe the character and intensity of the pain (e.g., sharp, aching, burning).
  • Assess for associated symptoms such as headache or nausea.

5. Tear Production and Quality:

  • Check for excessive tearing (epiphora) or dryness (xerophthalmia).
  • Evaluate the quality of tears by assessing tear film breakup time (TBUT) or using diagnostic tests, such as Schirmer’s test.

6. Corneal Examination:

  • If possible, use a slit lamp or ophthalmoscope to visualize the cornea in detail.
  • Look for corneal erosions, ulcers, infiltrates, or foreign bodies.
  • Assess corneal sensitivity by gently touching the cornea with a sterile wisp of cotton (cotton wisp test).

7. Pupillary Reflex and Extraocular Movements:

  • Evaluate pupillary size, shape, and reactivity to light.
  • Test extraocular muscle function and assess for any limitations in eye movements.

8. Photography or Documentation:

  • If available, consider documenting the condition with photographs for future reference or consultation with an ophthalmologist.

9. Systemic Assessment:

  • Perform a brief systemic assessment to identify any underlying conditions or medications that may contribute to keratitis.

10. Patient Education:

  • Provide education to the patient about the diagnosis, treatment plan, and the importance of medication compliance.
  • Emphasize the need to avoid rubbing the eye, wearing contact lenses, or exposing the eye to irritants during treatment.

A thorough nursing assessment for keratitis helps guide treatment decisions, monitor the patient’s progress, and detect complications promptly. Nurses play a vital role in collaborating with ophthalmologists and other healthcare providers to ensure that patients with keratitis receive appropriate care tailored to their specific needs.

Nursing Diagnoses for Keratitis:

1. Acute Pain related to corneal inflammation and irritation secondary to keratitis:

  • Keratitis often presents with ocular pain, discomfort, and foreign body sensation due to corneal inflammation. Addressing pain is a priority to improve the patient’s comfort and quality of life.

2. Impaired Ocular Tissue Integrity related to corneal damage, ulceration, or epithelial loss secondary to keratitis:

  • Keratitis can result in corneal tissue damage, including ulcers or epithelial defects, which can lead to vision impairment if not managed appropriately. Protecting ocular tissue integrity is essential.

3. Disturbed Sensory Perception (Visual) related to blurred vision, photophobia, or visual disturbances secondary to keratitis:

  • Keratitis often causes visual disturbances, including blurred vision and photophobia, which can significantly impact the patient’s sensory perception. Managing these disturbances is crucial for the patient’s comfort and safety.

4. Risk for Infection related to corneal abrasions or open lesions secondary to keratitis:

  • Corneal lesions or ulcers associated with keratitis create a potential entry point for infections. Preventing secondary infections is essential to minimize complications.

5. Anxiety related to the diagnosis of keratitis, uncertainty about treatment outcomes, or fear of vision loss:

  • The diagnosis of keratitis can cause anxiety due to concerns about vision loss and uncertainty about the condition’s progression and treatment. Addressing anxiety is essential to support the patient’s emotional well-being.

6. Deficient Knowledge related to keratitis, its causes, treatment, and prevention:

  • Patients and their caregivers may have limited knowledge about keratitis and its management. Providing education is crucial to ensure understanding and adherence to the treatment plan.

7. Risk for Corneal Abrasions related to rubbing the affected eye or exposure to foreign bodies:

  • Patients with keratitis may experience discomfort and may inadvertently rub their affected eye, increasing the risk of corneal abrasions. Preventing abrasions is essential to minimize complications.

These nursing diagnoses address the physical and psychosocial aspects of keratitis, focusing on pain management, ocular tissue integrity, visual disturbances, infection prevention, emotional support, education, and injury prevention. Nurses play a critical role in providing holistic care to individuals with keratitis, aiming to alleviate symptoms, promote healing, and improve the patient’s overall well-being.

Nursing Interventions for Keratitis:

1. Pain Management:

  • Administer prescribed analgesics or ophthalmic anesthetics as ordered to alleviate ocular pain and discomfort.
  • Encourage the use of artificial tears or lubricating eye drops to relieve dryness and discomfort.

2. Ocular Hygiene:

  • Instruct the patient to maintain good ocular hygiene by washing their hands thoroughly before touching their eyes or applying eye drops.
  • Advise against rubbing the affected eye to prevent corneal abrasions and further irritation.

3. Eye Protection:

  • Educate the patient on the importance of wearing an eye patch or protective eyewear as prescribed to minimize exposure to light and irritants.
  • Ensure that the eye patch or eyewear is clean and fits comfortably.

4. Topical Medication Administration:

  • Administer prescribed ophthalmic medications, such as antibiotic or antiviral eye drops or ointments, as ordered.
  • Teach the patient proper instillation techniques, emphasizing the importance of avoiding contamination of the medication container.

5. Ocular Irrigation:

  • If directed by the healthcare provider, assist with ocular irrigation to remove debris or foreign bodies from the eye.
  • Ensure that irrigation is performed using sterile saline or an appropriate irrigating solution.

6. Wound Care and Dressings:

  • If the patient has corneal ulcers or open lesions, assist with sterile dressing changes as ordered, following aseptic techniques.
  • Monitor the dressing for signs of infection or increased drainage.

7. Infection Prevention:

  • Emphasize the importance of meticulous hand hygiene and avoidance of eye rubbing to prevent the introduction of infection.
  • Educate the patient on the signs of worsening infection (e.g., increased redness, pain, discharge) and the need to report them promptly.

8. Visual Disturbance Management:

  • Create a dimly lit and quiet environment to reduce photophobia (light sensitivity) and visual discomfort.
  • Provide adaptive devices such as magnifiers or large-print materials to assist with reading and activities of daily living.

9. Emotional Support:

  • Offer emotional support and reassurance to the patient, addressing anxiety, fears about vision loss, and concerns about treatment.
  • Encourage the patient to express their feelings and concerns.

10. Patient Education:

  • Provide comprehensive education about keratitis, including its causes, treatment modalities, and the importance of medication compliance.
  • Instruct the patient on the proper use of prescribed eye drops or ointments, including the interval and technique for administration.
  • Offer guidance on hygiene practices, eye protection, and injury prevention.

These nursing interventions aim to alleviate symptoms, promote corneal healing, prevent complications, and support the patient’s overall well-being during the management of keratitis. Collaborative care with ophthalmologists and other healthcare providers is crucial to ensure optimal outcomes for individuals with this eye condition.


In conclusion, the nursing care plan for keratitis is a vital framework for providing comprehensive care to individuals affected by this painful and potentially vision-threatening eye condition. Keratitis, characterized by corneal inflammation, demands a multifaceted approach to treatment and support, with nurses playing a pivotal role in the patient’s journey to recovery.

This care plan emphasizes pain management, ocular hygiene, infection prevention, and patient education as essential components of care. By addressing these aspects, nurses aim to alleviate discomfort, promote corneal healing, and empower patients with knowledge about their condition.

The use of protective measures, such as eye patches and eyewear, along with proper medication administration and wound care, contributes to the physical well-being of the patient. Additionally, providing emotional support and education helps patients cope with the anxiety and uncertainties that often accompany a diagnosis of keratitis.

Nursing care for keratitis is a collaborative effort involving healthcare providers, ophthalmologists, patients, and their families. The goal is to enhance the patient’s quality of life, protect their vision, and facilitate a successful recovery. Through diligent implementation of these interventions and ongoing assessment, nurses play a critical role in achieving these outcomes for individuals facing the challenges of keratitis.


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