Herpes zoster ophthalmicus has been well known for the past third of a century. It is an acute inflammatory affection appearing in the course of the first and second branches of the fifth nerve, and is almost invariably unilateral. It occurs in elevated groups of firm oval or circular vesicles, on an edematous base, at the terminal points of the nerve filaments. The groups of vesicles do not all appear at once and their area is limited to the median line, and to filaments of the branches involved in the inflammation.
Herpes zoster ophthalmicus is a neuritis in which the ganglion of Gasser is involved, as has been proven by Do Wecker. Charcot and others have demonstrated that in herpes zoster the ganglion of the posterior root of the spinal nerve is inflamed.
The disease is characterized by severe pain, which usually precedes the eruption by a period varying from