Eye infections occur when harmful microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, and viruses) invade part of the eyeball or surrounding tissue, including the transparent front of the eye (cornea) and the thin membrane lining the outer eye and the inner eyelids (conjunctiva).
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Symptoms Of Eye Infections
Common symptoms of eye infections include:
- Eye redness
- Eye discharge
- Watery eyes
- Dry eyes
- Sensitivity to light
- Swelling of the eyes
- Swelling around the eyes
- Blurred vision
If you feel an eye infection, you must always see your eye doctor for a routine eye exam. Trying to diagnose your condition yourself can delay effective treatment and potentially cause permanent vision loss.
If you wear contact lenses you should only wear your glasses until you have seen your optometrist or general practitioner for diagnosis and treatment.
There are some types of eye infections, and your optician or general practitioner should decide the particular type of infection you have in order to prescribe the correct healing.
The doctor may take a sample from the affected area of the eye for a culture to assess what type of infection you have if any. This can help determine the mainly effective treatment, such as an antibiotic that targets the exact kind of bacteria that is cause the infection.
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Causes And Types Of Eye Infections
The following are examples of viral, fungal and bacterial eye infections:
Conjunctivitis is a general and highly contagious eye infection that often spreads to children in nurseries, classrooms and other similar settings. Teachers and caregivers are also at increased risk of conjunctivitis when working with young children.
General types of infectious conjunctivitis often have viral or bacterial origins.
Other Viral Eye Infections (Viral Keratitis)
Besides conjunctivitis common, other viral eye infections include ocular herpes, which occurs during exposure to the herpes simplex virus.
This type of eye infection made headlines around the world in 2006 when a now withdrawn contact lens solution was linked to an epidemic among contact lens wearers.
The fungal eye infection was caused by the fungus Fusarium, which is commonly found in organic matter. This fungus and others can invade the eye in other ways, such as through a penetrating lesion caused by a tree branch.
Keratitis In Acanthamoeba
People who wear contact lenses are at bigger risk of a serious parasite infection called Acanthamoeba keratitis. Which can invade the eye and threaten vision. This is why contact lens wearers should follow certain safety tips, such as avoiding swimming while wearing contact lenses.
If you wear contact lenses when swimming or relaxing in a spa, be sure to remove and disinfect your lenses immediately afterwards.
This is because wearing contact lenses increases the risk of fungal and bacterial eye infections. And it is recommended that proper maintenance of contact lenses be performed.
A serious eye infection known as trachoma, linked to Chlamydia trachomatis, is a leading cause of blindness in some parts of the world. Infection is transmitted by flies in unsanitary environments and reinfection is a general problem.
Trachoma generally infects the inner eyelid, which begins to heal. Scarring then causes a Trachoma usually infects the inner eyelid, which begins to heal. Scarring then causes the eyelid to “twist”, and the eyelashes begin to graze and destroy corneal tissue, resulting in permanent blindness. Good hygiene and the availability of treatments such as oral antibiotics are essential to control trachoma.
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