An eye infection is an inflammation of a certain parts of the organ caused by infective agents (bacteria, viruses or fungi). There is a variety of eye infections and they are all treated differently. The infection may start in the very eye (e.g. blepharitis) or can develop as a consequence of infection of nearby structures such as sinuses. In some cases eye infection may occur as a complication of eye surgeries.
Symptoms of Eye Infection
Since there are many infections of the eyes there is also a variety of symptoms and sings of the inflammation.
For example, conjunctivitis is inflammation of the conjunctiva. In case of such infection the conjunctiva becomes red and patients complain about excessive tearing and if there are bacteria the pus collects. The pus tends to harden during night and form yellow crusts which make opening of the eyes in the morning very difficult if not impossible. And finally, conjunctivitis also causes severe itching and sensitivity to light.
In case of sty there is a lump on the eyelid. The very lump is a source of irritation and itching. The affected area is red and tender. Progression of the condition additionally causes excessive tearing and increased sensitivity to light.
Blepharitis is inflammation of the eyelids. It generally leads to eye irritation, burning sensation, crusty debris and redness of the eye margins. Photophobia, swelling of the eyelids, warm and sore eyelids etc. are several more characteristics of blepharitis.
In trachoma the inflamed eye is red, watery and there is swelling of the eyelids. Progression of the infection leads to formation of small red lumps in the eyelids and if left untreated these lumps multiply and increase in size. Some of potential complications include corneal scarring and gradually doming vision.
Fungal eye infections develop in a form of cloudy lesions on the surface of the eye. The affected eye is inflamed and the vision is blurred. Irritation, discharge, swelling, pain and tearing are additional symptoms that develop with time.
In keratitis (inflammation of the cornea) patients complain about irritation, tearing and increased sensitivity to light. Corneal ulcer is a defect on the cornea. It is in a form of white or gray round spot. Corneal ulcers are very painful, cause tickling sensation, increased tearing and discharge from the eye. The vision is blurred and the eyelids are swollen. There is also photophobia.
Treatment for Eye Infections
The treatment for eye infection can only start once the correct diagnosis has been set. Depending of the infective agent that has led to eye infection patients may be treated with antibiotics, antifungal or antiviral drugs. Medications are either applied topically or taken orally. Apart from this treatment many patients require special eye drops that take care of inflammation and relieve symptom of the infection.