Many of the bacteria, viruses, parasites, fungi, and bacteria which invade your body can also attack the interior or surface of the eye. It can affect the inner eyelids and moist membrane lining in the outer eye. Most commonly occurring eye infection is conjunctivitis that is usually caused by the virus known as an adenovirus. This kind of infection is contagious and can easily spread through eyes to hands.
Other types of serious infection and causes are listed below:
- Ocular Histoplasmosis Syndrome- It is an infection which is caused by a fungus in the lungs. This fungus might migrate to the retina and damage them.
- Endophthalmitis- This infection can occur because of an eye injury or rare complication during cataract surgery. Blindness could occur without immediate treatment.
- Bacterial keratitis– This infection is caused by the bacteria that is found on mouth, nose, and skin and affects the cornea. Usually, these bacteria’s do not penetrate into the cornea. However, lack of oxygen because of wearing contact lenses, eye injury or weak immune system will facilitate the entry into the cornea.
- Shingles- Shingles is caused by the reactivation of the chicken pox virus. It can also cause eye infection if you touch your eyes after touching the sore. Herpes simplex is one of the leading causes of acute retinal necrosis.
Symptoms of an Eye infection
- Red eyes
- Watery eyes
- Eye discharge
- Dry eyes
- Swollen eyes
- Light sensitivity
- Swelling around your eyes
- Blurry vision
Whenever you suspect that you got an eye infection, it is highly advisable that you visit the eye doctor immediately for an exam. If you try to self-diagnose the condition then it can delay the effective treatment and also can potentially harm your eyesight.
If you wear contact lenses, it is best to avoid them while you have the infection. Wear only eyeglasses till you consult with a doctor for treatment and diagnosis.
Fortunately, most of the bacterial infection that are common usually clears up in a short time with prompt treatment using antibiotic ointments or eye drops and compresses. Most of the viral infection in the eye clears up on its own. An anti-viral drop will be prescribed if it is a severe viral infection. Few of the viral infections might have to be treated with steroid eye drops in order to reduce the inflammation. If it is a bacterial infection, the doctor might ask you to get a culture test done in order to assess the exact kind of infection you are suffering from and which they will be able to prescribe the antibiotic which selectively targets those particular bacteria which caused the infection.
If you come in contact with a person who is suffering from red eye, you should avoid touching your face or eye till you wash the hands thoroughly. You could minimize the chance of catching common viral or bacterial eye infection using cleansers and anti-infective sprays in public areas. If anyone at home is suffering from an eye infection, keep towels and bedding clean and advise them to keep washing their hands often.