Eye Infection: How do I know my eyes are infected?

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If you realize that your eyes become reddish and itchy, you might have an eye infection. Your eyes turn pinkish. So, you have to make an appointment with your doctor, because he makes the final statement about whether it’s infected or you need any treatment.

You can’t take any risk since it’s the matter of your eyes and eyes are very sensitive. It is not difficult to notice any eye infection so you can start your treatment quickly.

Your eyes can show many symptoms but it only depends on the infected part, so treatment also starts when you got to know which part of the eye is infected. It can be fungal, viral and bacterial.

Symptoms of eye infection

You may notice following changes in your eye:

  • Red eyes
  • Watery eyes
  • Eyes discharge
  • Eye pain
  • Swelling of eyelids and surrounding 
  • Blurred vision
  • Itching
  • Discomfort 
  • Dry eyes
  • Sensitivity 

Types of eye infection

After your checkup, doctor might use some medical terms that diagnose which type of infection you’re suffering from;

What is Keratitis?

It is a medical term which means inflammation of the cornea. The cornea is about 0.5 mm thick and its diameter is about 13 mm. It may or may not be associated with infection.

The infected person has a tissue or shutter on the front of his eye that can lid your iris and pupil. Scalera is the white part of the eye which forms the outer coat of the eye. It can become dangerous when you don’t see a doctor or can permanently destroy your vision.

Causes of keratitis

It can be caused by:

  • Prolonged wearing of lenses
  • Due to contaminated water like ocean, river, lakes or while you are in under water
  • A weak immune system
  • Prolonged exposure to sunlight 
  • Scratch which causes an eye injury
  • Due to virus herpes simple and complex which causes viral keratitis 
  • Due to bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus can cause bacterial keratitis
  • Due to parasite Acanthamoeba which causes acanthamoeba keratitis

Prevention against keratitis 

It can be prevented with the help of following steps; 

  • Clean your contact lenses with solution each time you wear them
  • Avoid wearing lenses when you are going for swimming 
  • Put your lenses off when you are going to bed
  • Change your lenses after every 4 to 6 months
  • Clean your hands before taking out a lens on your hands

What is Blepharitis?

Your eyes have a skin fold on the upper side which is called eyelid. It covers your eyes and protect them from any parasite. Blepharitis is the inflammation of your eyelid. Your eyelid also has curved lashes. It can affect usually adults but can also occur in children. It can be the outer side of your eye or inner side of your eye. 

Causes of blepharitis

It can be caused due to;

  • Growth of bacteria around your skin
  • Developing dandruff on lashes or brows
  • Blockage of oil glands
  • Allergies 
  • Hormonal imbalances 

Prevention of blepharitis

Blepharitis can be painful and itchy, you can reduce the risk by;

  • Controlling your dandruff
  • Wash your face twice a day
  • Remove makeup gently with wipes
  • Don’t rub your eyes it can increase your infection
  • Don’t touch it with dirty hand
  • If you are in the early stage of blepharitis dont use makeup, especially eyeliner.

What is Conjunctivitis?

It is the inflammation of conjunctiva also called pinkeye. It is a tissue that can lid up your front eye and back of your eyelid. It is the most common infection in adults as well as in children. It can spread quickly so you have to take your doctor’s appointment as soon as possible because it increases the high risk of infection. 

Causes of conjunctivitis

It is cause by:

  • Entrance of bacteria 
  • Irritation by shampoo
  • Parasitic reaction
  • Use of drops which are not suitable
  • Allergy 

Prevention against conjunctivitis

  • Use cold water cloth apply it upon eyes
  • Wash hands
  • Don’t rub
  • Avoid eye makeup
  • Clean your skin
  • Avoid lenses
  • Wash your eye many times in day with cold water

What is Endophthalmitis?

It is the type of infection which causes inflammation inside your eye. It is very rare but if it occurs it can be acute and chronic. It requires emergency treatment. Urgently go to your ophthalmologist otherwise it can be severe and you can lose your vision.

Causes of endophthalmitis

It is caused by:

  • Gram positive
  • Can be exogenous (most common); means the bacteria which enter in your eye can enter through outer sources and causes infection
  • Can be endogenous (main type); means the bacteria or virus come from your own body parts and causes infection
  • When anything remains in your eyes for more than 1 day 

Prevention against endophthalmitis

It can be managed by following steps;

  • Use eye-wear to protect your eyes
  • Goggles
  • Glasses 
  • Avoid the contact of eye drop bottle with your eye
  • Follow your doctor’s instructions
  • Avoid contact lenses
  • Clean your hands
  • Avoid makeup

What is Sty (hordeolum)?

It is the painful lump or ball. It can be outside or inside of your eyes and causes pain and itching. It is full of pus and looks like an acne or pimple type. 

The sty occurs on the eyelid called chalazion and back on the eyelid which does not cause any kind of infection and pain. 

Causes of sty

  • Bacteria staphylococcus
  • Clogging of oil producing gland in eyelid
  • Infection 

Prevention against sty

  •  Use warm water
  • Good hygiene of your face
  • Avoid using makeup or expire makeup
  • Wash hands
  • Clean your contacts with disinfectant 

What is cellulitis?

It develops on any part of the face. It can be caused when there is a damage or scratch on your eye tissue. That scratch allows the bacteria to invade and causes serious infection.

It can spread in your blood as well as in lymph nodes. Your eyes become reddish and swollen and you also feel pain and discomfort in your eyes.

Causes of cellulitis

It is caused by:

  • Normal flora like staphylococcus and streptococcus 
  • Scratch
  • Wounds

Prevention against cellulitis

  • Use gloves
  • Wear goggles
  • Apply warm towels for at least 20 mins

What is eye herpes?

It is also called ocular herpes and is caused by herpes virus (HSV-1). It can be dangerous and serious not only because the blister is painful but it also causes permanent loss of vision. 

It can be spread by physical contact and can damage your cornea. 

Causes of eye herpes

  • If your one eye is damaged, it causes damage to another eye also
  • Contact; person to person
  • Herpes virus 

Prevention against eye herpes

  • Avoid stress
  • Avoid contact with a person who is infected with herpes
  • Don’t rub your eyes
  • Be careful about hygiene
  • Avoid makeup

What is uveitis? 

It is called inflammation of affected uvea middle layer tissue. Swelling can destroy your eye tissues.

Anterior uveitis is the most common form of uveitis and can affect your front part of the eye.

Uvea contain 3 parts which are:

  1. Iris 
  2. Choroid
  3. Cilliary body

Causes of uveitis?

The causes of uveitis are not yet known. It can occur in any person and is associated with any disease.

  • Injury
  • Trauma 
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Herpes 
  • AIDS
  • Bruising 
  • Histoplasmosis
  • Kawasaki disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Psoriasis
  • Toxins absorbed in eye and many more

Prevention against uveitis

  • Avoid physical contact
  • Self hygiene
  • Avoid makeup
  • Flush your eye

What are the complications that develop? 

There are many complications like uveitis, abscess, eye herpes, endophthalmitis, conjunctivitis, sty, blepharitis, keratitis which are explained above. If it is left untreated can damage your eyes and cause blindness.

What should be the treatment?

When you develop any infection you should consider your doctor first because further treatment will start after the doctor’s prescriptions.

It can be treated by following methods:

  • Antibiotics
  • Ointments
  • Eye drops
  • Eye surgery 

What prevention should take against an eye infection?

Preventions are important to take since it’s the matter of health. It can be prevented by:

  1. Washing hands 
  2. Rinse your lenses with solution before and after using them
  3. Replace your contacts every 5 to 6 months
  4. Avoid sleeping while wearing lenses
  5. Remove lenses while swimming
  6. Wear safety glasses
  7. Don’t share eye lenses
  8. Don’t share your medicines

Take Away!

When you feel your eyes itchy and reddish, consult your doctor and seek medical advice and follow the treatment. If you take a lot of time for the check up it might get worse and cause serious damage to your eyes and can also damage your vision. Protect yourself by taking precautions and take proper self hygiene.