Subepithelial infiltrates are a medical condition affecting the eye. Specifically, they are pockets of opaque tissue under the epithelial layer of the cornea. In my case, my opthalmologist explained to me, they were brought on as a result of my contracting viral blepharoconjunctivitis. Although the virus eventually died or was eaten by my immune system (so my pink eye went away) dead fragments of virii remained embedded in my cornea underneath the surface. Where those fragments were, or perhaps were numerous enough, an immune system reaction caused the surrounding corneal tissue to turn milky white. These spots were too small to see, but they interfered with my eye's ability to focus - so things looked blurry.

The treatment for these is typically application of corticosteroids (via eye drops) for several weeks or more. The steroids apparently suppress the immune system's response enough to clear the corneal tissue, allowing the body to dispose of the viral fragments normally. Then, when the steroids are discontinued, there aren't enough virus fragments left to trigger the immune system again.

In my case, this worked. There are things to be aware of - not following the prescribed course of steroids (missing doses, for example) can cause real problems, as a healthy immune system doesn't need all that much time to fire back up and cause the problem again. Suddenly stopping the steroids, especially early, will cause problems as the immune system tries to fire back up all at once. Excessive use of steroids is problematic, as it will change the pressure within the eye and can cause cataracts, although this is rare and (I'm told) always happens only after excessively long use (eight to twelve months). My course of treatment was seven weeks. If the steroids don't work, there 'may be surgical options' but nobody I talked to would say what those were, or looked sanguine about them. Happily, though, mine appear to have gone away as intended.

So if you have any sort of eye infection, pink eye especially, be sure to see an opthalmologist - not an optometrist! - to aid in and monitor your recovery. Apparently, leaving the infiltrates in place for too long (years) can cause them to become more resistant to treatment.

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