Many of the viruses, bacteria, parasites, and fungi which invade the human body also attack the eyes. Eye problems can occur in various parts of the eye and the infections can occur in just one eye or both. Eye infection symptoms commonly include itching, redness, pain, swelling, discharge or problems with vision. The treatment of eye infections depends on the cause of the infection and it may include compresses, eye drops, creams, antibiotics or surgery.
Eye Infection Symptoms
Common eye infection symptoms may include:
- Pain in the eye
- Tearing of the eyes
- Dryness of the eyes
- Grittiness of the eyes
- Itchiness of the eyes
- Blurriness of the eyes
- Increased sensitivity to light
- Foreign body sensation in eyes
- Increasing redness of the eye or eyelids
- Blood in Eyes
- A grey or white sore on iris
- Blurred or decreased vision
- Yellow, green, bloody, or watery discharge from the eye
- Fever with no other cause
- Crusty eyelid or eyelashes
- Dark spots in vision
- Discharge from the eyes
- Double vision
- Flashes of light
- Floaters in vision
- Vision loss (Central vision)
Watering or tearing of eyes is a common symptom of eye problem. There can also be a small amount of white or creamy drainage at times. Treatment can be done in home if there is no pain or other serious symptoms. More serious infections like periorbital cellulitis have to be evaluated by a doctor because it affects the entire eye or the lacrimal sacs and causes a change in your vision.
There are many possible , and therefore, the symptoms vary from person to person.
Symptoms of conjunctivitis are:
- redness and itching
- viral conjunctivitis: watery or mucous-like discharge
- bacterial conjunctivitis: thick white, yellow, or green discharge
- Foreign body sensation in eyes
- Crusting over of the eyelid
Symptoms of keratitis and other frontal eye infections include:
- pain, itching, or sensation of a foreign body in the eye
- redness or small red lines in the white of the eye
- swollen eyelids
- constant involuntary blinking
- discharge of yellow pus
Eye problems that damage the retina, optic nerve, or the blood vessels often cause no pain at all. Deteriorating vision is the primary eye problem symptom, which can be stopped if treated at early stages but it cannot be reversed. One possible internal eye problem symptom is floaters. It is a condition in which you see tiny bubbles or dark spots in your line of vision.
Common Eye Infections
There are numerous eye problems that naturally affect people as they age. Some eye diseases are not related to age though. Common eye problems are:
- Presbyopia: This is a common eye disease characterised by the loss of the ability to see close objects or small prints closely. It is a natural process which develops slowly with aging is usually corrected with reading glasses. Frequently changing eyesight in elderly people suggests Presbyopia.
- Floaters: These are common eye diseases characterised by tiny specks floating across the field of vision. They are noticeable in well-lit rooms or out-of-doors on a bright day. They are mostly normal eye problems, but at times can cause severe eye problems like retinal detachment accompanied by light flashes. A sudden change in the number of spots or flashes in your eye requires you to see a doctor immediately.
- Dry eyes: It is an eye problem which happens when tear glands fail to produce enough tears. Dry eyes can cause itching, burning, at times loss of vision too.
- Tearing: This common eye disease is characterised by too many tears being produced because the eyes are sensitive to light, wind or temperature changes. One can solve the problem by shielding your eyes by wearing sunglasses. Tearing can also be a symptom of a serious eye infection or a blocked tear duct.
- Cataracts: Cataracts are common eye problems characterised by clouding of the eye lens. When a cataract clouds the eye lenses, the light cannot pass through the lens as easily and vision is impaired. Some cataracts are small and do not pose serious impairment. If they become thick, they are removed by surgery.
- Glaucoma: This is a common eye disease which occurs with progressive deterioration of the optic nerves. Deterioration of optic nerve occurs due to increased intraocular pressure on the eyes.
- Retinal disorders: “The retina is a thin lining on the back of the eye made up of cells that collect visual images and pass them on to the brain.” (WebMD) Retinal disorders interrupt transfer of images to the brain. Common eye problems related to retinal damage are age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and retinal detachment. To maintain proper vision, early diagnosis and treatment of these conditions is essential.
- Conjunctivitis: This is a widely prevalent eye infection in which the tissue that lines the eyelids covering the cornea is inflamed. It is also called “pink eye” or “red eye.” The symptoms of conjunctivitis include redness, discharge, burning, itching or tearing. Conjunctivitis occurs due to an infection of the eye caused by excessive exposure to chemicals or irritants, or due to certain allergies.
- Corneal diseases: Corneal diseases are common eye diseases. The cornea helps to focus light entering the eyes. Certain diseases, injuries, infections and exposure to toxic agents can damage the cornea which can cause redness of eyes, watery eyes, pain, reduced vision, or a halo effect.
- Eyelid problems: The function of the eyelids is to protect the eye, distribute the tears and restrict the amount of light entering the eyes. Symptoms of common eyelid problems are pain, tearing, itching and sensitivity to light. Other common eye problems may include drooping of eyelids, blinking spasms or inflammation of the outer edges of the eyelids.
- Temporal arteritis: It is a common eye infection that causes inflammation of the arteries throughout the body. Its symptoms are severe headache, pain while chewing and tenderness in the temple area. A sudden vision loss may be followed in a few days – usually in one of the eyes. Other symptoms are low-grade fever, trembling and weight loss.
Eye infection treatment
Most fungal and parasitic infections are treated by various prescribed medications with an exception to histoplasma. It can only be treated by laser cauterization of the affected area.
Some other effective eye infection treatments are:
- It is often corrected with prolonged use of spectacles.
- Dry eyes. You may be suggested to use a humidifier in your home, special eye drops to simulate real tears, or plugs placed in tear ducts to restrict tear drainage. Your doctor may also recommend Lipiflow treatment that uses heat and pressure to treat dry eyes.
- Some cataracts are small and don’t cause serious vision impairment. However, if they become large, they have to be removed by surgery.
- People suffering from primary glaucoma usually experience no symptoms or pain. Thus, you need to get your eyes checked regularly by a doctor. Treatment of glaucoma may include prescribed eye drops or surgery.
- Antibiotics are used for the treatment of this particular eye infection.
- Corneal diseases. Treatments of corneal diseases include making adjustments with the eyeglass, using medicated eye drops, or undergoing a surgery.
- Eyelid problems. Eyelid problems can be treated with proper cleaning of eyes, or medication, or surgery.
- Conjunctivitis: Viral conjunctivitis is usually cured without treatment. Bacterial conjunctivitis and keratitis are dealt with broad-spectrum antibiotics.
- Antibiotics are used for this particular eye infection treatment.
There’s not much you can do to avoid eye problems. There are many eye infections such as syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhea, crab lice, herpes simplex, thrush, and hepatitis B that result due to sexually transmitted or genital diseases. You can reduce your risk of an eye infection by observing safe sexual practices. Serious diseases like tuberculosis, syphilis, and toxoplasmosis along with cold sores, shingles, chickenpox, measles, mumps, flu, and the common cold can also trigger a whole lot of eye problems. A person suffering from an eye infection should use separate linens, fresh facecloths and separate towel for cleaning. Cosmetics should be avoided if you have eye problems. Clean the eye and surrounding areas before applying any medicines.
Eyes are the windows to life. Keep them safe!
All the treatments – medicines, injections and vaccines are for general information of the reader. Please consult a doctor and get a formal prescription before taking any medicines, supplements and injections.
Need a Online Doctor? Check out Online Doctor Services.