Eyes are one of the most sensitive parts of our human body. Consequently, they always demand additional care. Especially from dust, radiation, sunlight, UV rays, and the most harmful of them all – infections.
Eye infections usually happen when microorganisms like fungi, bacteria, and viruses penetrate any part of your eye. This includes the clear front surface of the eye (cornea), the moist membrane (outer eye), and inner eyelids(conjunctiva).
There are several types of eye infections with several causes and medications. Some of these are common, while others are rare. This article will help you better understand most of them, along with their symptoms, types, treatment, and prevention.
So let’s get the ball rolling!
Eye Infection Symptoms
- Eye discharge
- Red eyes
- Watery eyes
- Light sensitivity
- Dry eyes
- Swollen eyes
- Flaking eyelids.
- Swelling around the eyes
- Chronic redness.
- Persistent Itching.
- Discomfort in the eyes.
- Blurring vision.
- Eye discharge.
Causes And Types Of Eye Infections
Common examples of fungal, viral, and bacterial eye infections include:
1. Conjunctivitis or Pink Eye
Conjunctivitis or “Pink Eye” is a highly transmissible infection that is often spread among children in classrooms, daycare centers, and similar environments. Consequently, daycare workers and teachers are also at high risk of the pink eye as they work closely with young children.
This infection commonly has viral origins. Infants are also prone to conjunctival eye infections, namely chlamydial and gonococcal conjunctivitis, particularly if the mother has a sexually transmitted disease.
Besides the common pink eye, another prevalent viral eye infection is ocular herpes. This infection occurs when eyes get exposed to the Herpes simplex virus.
2. Fungal Keratitis
This infection had made worldwide news in 2006 when a contact lens solution (now withdrawn from the market) was linked to an outbreak amid contact lens wearers. About 154 cases of Fungal Keratitis were reported that year in 33 states of the USA.
This fungal eye infection is correlated with Fusarium fungi, which are commonly found in organic matter.
3. Acanthamoeba Keratitis
Contact lens wearers are the most prone to this sight-threatening infection called Acanthamoeba keratitis. This is because they easily encounter with such parasites that induce this infection. That is why people that use contact lenses should follow certain safety tips.
These tips include:
- Don’t go swimming while wearing contacts.
- In case you wear contact lenses when swimming or relaxing in a bathtub, make sure to disinfect your lenses afterward.
- Properly wash your hands with soap and dry every time before handling contact lenses.
- Always clean contact lenses as per the instructions of your eye care provider and the manufacturer’s guidelines.
Indeed, there is always a risk of fungal and bacterial eye infections when using contact lenses; hence, proper care must be followed. The FDA recommends manufacturers to include a discard date on contact lens cleaning and disinfecting products in this regard.
Trachoma related to Chlamydia trachomatis is an uncommon infection in the US but is very comprehensive in certain under-developed regions. Surprisingly, it is one of the prominent causes of blindness.
Flies are the reason for the widespread of this infection in unsanitary environments, and reinfection is a general problem. This infection usually infects the inner eyelid, which starts to scar.
Later on, scarring causes “in-turning” of eyelids, and eventually, the cornea is destroyed with resulting in permanent blindness. Trachoma can be controlled with high-grade hygiene, cleanliness, and oral antibiotics.
When infected by bacterial endophthalmitis infection, a person becomes permanently blind if immediate treatment is not provided.
This type of infection mostly occurs with a penetrating eye injury or a rare complication of eye surgery. Every time the eye’s globe is penetrated or injured, there are 6 to 8 percent chances of endophthalmitis.
Additionally, sometimes mold that penetrates the eye’s interior also causes endophthalmitis. Its treatment includes the use of potent antibiotics.
Complications Related To Eye Infections
Severe eye infections can affect the interior portions of the eyelids, creating stye or chalazion. If the virus invades the eye’s tear glands, it may result in inflammatory conditions such as uveitis and dacryostenosis.
Moreover, eye infections can also lead to inflammation and blockage of the eye’s tear drainage system.
Eye infections can be an underlying foundation for a corneal ulcer that resembles an abscess on the eye. A corneal ulcer can make severe vision loss if left untreated.
More severe eye infections penetrate the deeper portions of the eye and hence results in serious sight-threatening conditions such as endophthalmitis. Orbital cellulitis must be treated as soon as possible because the infection can spread if left untreated.
Eye Infection Treatments
Many common viral eye infections get cured on their own. Other eye infections are curable with prompt treatment such as antibiotics or antiviral eye drops, ointments, and compresses. Other severe viral eye infections require steroid eye drops to deal with related inflammation.
How Depending on the cause and the condition of your eye-infection, the doctor may also prescribe some antibiotics or antiviral medications by oral administration.
Nevertheless, one must consult a doctor immediately when contaminated with eye infection to avoid any undesired harm to the eyes.
As explained above, there are several types of eye infections, and your doctor needs to carefully examine your condition in order to prescribe the proper treatment. Your doctor may take a sample from the affected area of your eye to evaluate the exact type of infection you have. This helps in determining the most effective treatment.
How To Prevent Eye Infections
There are many ways with which to prevent an eye infection. Use these safety measures to protect your eyes:
If you’re near a person with infected eyes, avoid contacting your own eyes until you thoroughly wash your hands with soap.
Ask your children to use anti-infective sprays, cleansers, and sanitizers in public areas such as classrooms.
Always wash your hands before touching your eyes or handling contact lenses to prevent eye infections.
If any family member catches the eye-flu, keep their towels and bedding clean and don’t let them share their items with others. Also, guide them to wash their hands often.
Avoid wearing contact lenses while sleeping, even if they are FDA-approved for overnight wear. Because doing so increases your risk of eye infection.
Anytime you suspect an eye infection; you must immediately visit your eye doctor for an eye exam. Attempting self-diagnosis delays effective treatment and hence potentially harm your eye-sight.
If you use contact lenses, avoid using them until you visit your eye doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
By implementing these tips, you can minimize the chances of catching common bacterial or viral eye infections.
Consult a Specialist If Things Goes Wrong
Almost all of us have either encountered an eye infection or know someone who has had one. Your eyes get infectious when contaminated with bacteria, fungi, or viruses. Eye infections affect not only the inner part but also the outer part of the eye.
These can occur in different parts of the eye and can affect just one eye or both. Its symptoms include itching, swelling, redness, discharge, pain, or problems with vision. The treatment depends on the cause and portion of the infected part of the eye and may include eye drops, compresses, creams, or antibiotics.
Nevertheless, it is very crucial to seek immediate medical assistance. If you think you may have an eye infection, you can talk to a doctor 24/7 using online medical clinics. We are just like your doctor’s clinic except for no waiting cues and inclusive of the advantage of instant appointments.
Using our services, not only you get an online evaluation from a board-certified physician, but also diagnosis and treatment plan, including a prescription if needed – all this in the comfort of your home.
Our online process is very convenient, straightforward, and more affordable than an in-person visit. There are three steps to our process:
Step 1 Check-In Online And Filling a Simple Form
Just fill out a simple form to sign up in our online program. After that, schedule a call back to you from the doctor at your desired time. A doctor will get in touch with you at the given time and provide you the care you need.
Step 2 See Our Doctor Online
Consult with the doctor regarding your medical issues and symptoms. Provide all the relevant information and ask all the questions that you gave in your mind.
Step 3 Get Your Treatment Plan & Prescription
Finally, once you are satisfied with the consultation, our physician approves the charge and then provide a treatment plan and prescription. You can follow up with your doctor afterward for quick help, free of charge.
I hope this post helps you to deal with eye infection effectively. If you have any doubts or queries, feel free to comment below.