Mel B. On How A Herpes Infection Caused Temporary Blindness: 'I Was Not OK'
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Mel B. On How A Herpes Infection Caused Temporary Blindness: 'I Was Not OK'

Last November, British Pop Legends, the Spice Girls, announced that they would be reuniting for the first time since 2012 to give us the 90s' flashback experience we didn't know we needed. Four of the five group members will be kicking off their world tour on the 24th in Ireland, but recent news of Mel B.'s unique medical condition threatened to bring these plans to a halt.

Last week, news broke that the 43-year-old singer was being rushed to the hospital due to blindness in one of her eyes, and she later opened up about the true cause of her temporary ailment on Instagram. She explained:

"Thank you so much for all the lovely support and messages I've had about my eye. Just so you know the real truth. I had an awful experience last week when I went blind in my right eye and my left eye went blurry."

Upon reaching the emergency room, Mel's vision was restored and she was diagnosed with severe iritis and uveitis, which are both infections in the eye caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV-1 and very rarely, HSV-2) and usually show little-to-no symptoms before a serious outbreak.

There's a lot of stigma around having a virus like herpes, but more than half of the population under the age of 50 has contracted the HSV-1 virus and suffers from chronic cold sores and fever blisters, and nearly one in six people have HSV-2, which is sexually transmitted and causes genital lesions. Among the several men and women who have herpes, few of them even are even aware that they ever caught the virus, and the same is true for Mel, who says this the first time that anything like this has ever happened to her. She continued:

"Just to be clear I was NOT ok and this has NEVER EVER happened to me before. I was actually in a lot of pain and very very scared."

Thanks to eye specialists in London and some heavy duty eyedrops, the singer says she has her infection totally under control.

"I'm taking multiple prescription heavy duty eye drops and other medication the dr gave me that I have to take every day to keep the inflammation under control, Also I'm being so well looked after by Team Spice special thanks to our paramedics too!! I'm still dealing with it and will be for the next 3/4 months to fully get it under control but I'm no longer worried that my condition will get worse."

Judging from her recent Instagram posts, Scary Spice is back in full effect the world tour must go on. She continued:

"My only problem now is I have to find a very cool Scary eye patch. Does anyone - apart from Madonna - know where I can get one??"

Although herpes is a condition that is often stigmatized, it's important to know that the virus can appear differently in different people. While sometimes herpes can appear in the form of genital lesions and fever blisters, it can also mean a nasty eye infection that can render temporary blindness that you never saw coming. According to WebMD, if you spot these symptoms, it's time to head to your local eye specialist:

  • Pain in and around only one eye
  • Headache and fever
  • Redness, rash, or sores on the eyelids and around the eyes, especially on the forehead
  • A rash on the tip of the nose
  • Redness of the eye
  • Blurry vision
  • Swelling and cloudiness of the cornea

You're in our prayers and we hope you get well soon, Mel!

Featured image by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images

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