HOW TO AVOID EYE INFECTIONS
An eye infection can be very unpleasant and even painful. They occur when harmful bacteria, fungi, or viruses enter the eyes or surrounding areas. Fortunately, most bacterial eye infections can be effectively treated with eye drops or ointments.
If you suspect an eye infection, it is important to see a doctor or optometrist as soon as possible to receive the necessary treatment.
Eye infections can be avoided by taking proper precautions and knowing the symptoms to watch out for.
GENERAL SYMPTOMS OF EYE INFECTIONS
You can already recognize many of the symptoms of eye infections. Different infections can cause different reactions and affect different parts of the eye. This includes the anterior surface of the eye, known as the cornea, and the thin membrane that lines the outside of the eye and the inner eyelids, known as the conjunctiva.
Diagram of the eye showing the conjunctiva, cornea, lens, etc.
Symptoms of an eye infection may include eye redness, watery or dry eyes, itching, or pain. You may also feel discharge, light sensitivity, or blurred vision. It is important to avoid self-diagnosis; It is much easier and quicker to consult a doctor or optician for a professional opinion.
TYPES OF EYE INFECTIONS
There are three main types of eye infections; viral, fungal and bacterial. One of the most common eye infections is conjunctivitis, which can be bacterial or viral. Conjunctivitis is highly contagious, and symptoms often include a discharge that sticks to the eyelashes, as well as a burning or itchy sensation and grain of sand in the eyes.
Sometimes, an infection can be the root cause of a corneal ulcer. A corneal ulcer resembles an abscess in the eye and, if left untreated, can lead to more serious problems. It is the result of a localized infection of the cornea, usually caused by a bacterial infection.
Contact lens wearers can be especially susceptible to irritation that ulcers can cause.
TREATMENT OF EYE INFECTIONS
It is important not to leave an eye infection untreated, as it can lead to more serious eye health problems.
If you have an eye infection, your doctor may take a sample from the affected area to determine the type of infection. For example, an antibiotic can target a type of bacteria that causes an eye infection. Many viral eye infections clear up on their own, or you may need antiviral drugs.
HOW TO PREVENT EYE INFECTION
Contact lens wearers are generally at increased risk of eye infections; This is because contact lenses require much more eye contact to wear.
There are some simple precautions you can take to avoid eye infections. You can minimize the chances of catching eye infections by not rubbing your eyes and washing your hands frequently. This is especially true if you are wearing and removing contact lenses. You should also try to keep your towels and linens clean and fresh.