The Facts on Eye Infections

Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License   by  Andy G 

A large number of bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites that cause harm to the human body can also affect the eye’s surface and interior. Eye diseases that are infectious can be divided into two categories which are as follows:

  • Inflamed or infected part of the eye: Eye diseases can affect different parts of the human eye. For example, conjunctivitis causes inflammation in the conjunctiva, the inner eyelid’s membrane and the inner corner of the surface of the eye. Inflammation can also affect other parts of the eye such as the cornea, eyelids, retina, optic nerve, the liquid that is present inside the eye and blood vessels.
  • Cause: Another category of eye disease is based on the cause of the infection. For example, Ocular Histoplasmosis Syndrome, or OHS, is a fungus-caused eye condition. It is also known by another name, Chorioretinitis. The retina’s blood supply, located in the inner surface in the eye’s rear, is attacked by this condition.

Conjunctivitis is the most common type of eye infection. It is caused by an adenovirus, which is a common cold virus type. Infectious conjunctivitis is common among children and it is also known as pinkeye. It is highly contagious as it can spread from the eye to other surfaces through hands that have touched the infected eye. This infection can also be caused by bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus. Eye infections caused by bacteria can result in pinkeye that lasts longer than other infection cases.

Symptoms of Eye Infections

Since there are so many causes of eye infections, the symptoms can differ. These symptoms depend on the location of the infection rather than its cause.

Here are some of the common symptoms of conjunctivitis:

  • Itching and redness
  • Discharge that may be watery or thick, depending on whether it is viral or bacterial conjunctivitis
  • Sensation of grime in the eyes
  • Eyelid crusting

Here are some of the common symptoms of frontal eye infections such as keratitis:

  • Itching, pain or a feeling of a presence of a foreign object
  • Photosensitivity
  • Small red lines or redness in the white part of the eye
  • Yellow pus-like discharge that crusts
  • Eyelids that swell up
  • Tears
  • Blepharospasm or involuntary blinking that occurs constantly

Treatment for Eye Infections

Due to the many different causes of eye infections such as poor hygiene practices, tuberculosis, sexually transmitted diseases, etc. it is important to consult a doctor immediately after the symptoms mentioned above show up. Infections that are caused by fungus and parasites can be treated with different medications. Bacterial keratitis and conjunctivitis can be effectively treated with the help of broad-spectrum antibiotics. If the eye infection has been caused by an STD, the STD will be treated with specific antibiotics.

In cases of histoplasma, the only treatment available is laser cauterization. The treatment is concentrated on the affected area and this helps in slowing down damage to the macula. This procedure is required to be repeated a number of times. Unfortunately, there is no treatment for any damage that has already been done but many studies are being conducted to create new techniques for surgery.

The best way to prevent eye infections is to maintain proper hygiene, practice safe sex and avoid touching or sharing items that could spread the infection such as towels, makeup, etc. Prevention is always better than cure so make sure that you take effective measures to avoid getting an eye infection.