There are many different sorts of eye infections ranging from mild to severe, with different causes and treatments. Bacteria, viruses, or a fungus can potentially result in eye infections which can occur in one or both eyes. Not all the infections are life-threatening. However, some of them need medical help.
How do I know I got eye infections?
Those who have eye infections feel pain, itching, or foreign body sensation in the eye. The eye may often produce tear and have yellow, green, discharge (even blood) from the eye. People sometimes experience light sensitivity or blurred vision. If you have no pain or other severe symptoms, self-treatment is usually recommended. If you notice changes in your vision, look for medical help immediately.
Serious complications of eye infection are retinal damage and the formation of scars in the cornea that can have an effect on vision. Some infections like syphilis can also lead to glaucoma. Moreover, eye problems with no obvious symptoms can be ignored. For example, chlamydia often causes no clear symptoms, but if left untreated, it can cause infertility and heart disease.
Causes of eye infections?
Irritation and injuries
Irritation and injuries can cause eye infections. For instance, the eye can be irritated by being exposed to a small amount of chemical, making your eyes vulnerable to infections, particularly among those wearing contact lenses. Some types of eye infections can develop and damage the eye in a very short time.
Chlamydia and gonorrhea
Although they are common sexually transmitted infections (STIs), they can lead to conjunctivitis in adults. A person may get the infection through directly genital fluids such as semen, or when he scratches his eyes after touching infected genital areas. Babies having infected mothers are at especially high risk of eye infection when they are born.
The way this common skin disease infect the eye is similar to chlamydia or gonorrhea. Herpes can result in pitting and ulceration of the cornea, which is likely to destroy retinal tissue and damage vision.
Shingles, the virus commonly known to cause chickenpox, can also lead to ocular infection if you scratch the eyes after touching a sore. Shingles is able to affect the nerves of the eye and can cause swelling, pain, and drainage. Shingles are the most common eye infection trigger in people over 50 years old as shingles is more common in the elderly.
Bacterial and fungal keratitis
This is an infection of the cornea by common bacteria or fungi commonly dwelling on the skin and in the mouth and nose. These bacteria can’t penetrate the outer layer of the eye of healthy people. However, with people wearing contact lenses or having a weak immune system, bacteria is facilitated to break into the cornea, the clear layer in the front of the eye.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Review Date: July 11, 2017 | Last Modified: July 11, 2017
Eye infections. http://bodyandhealth.canada.com/condition/getcondition/eye-infections. Accessed in February 24, 2017.
Signs of an eye infection. http://www.webmd.com/eye-health/signs-of-an-eye-infection. Accessed in February 24, 2017.
Eye infections: What you need to know. http://www.eyehealthweb.com/eye-infections/.Accessed in February 24, 2017.