Our eyes and the skin around it are made up of very thin, sensitive tissues that react almost immediately to any foreign body on contact. Different parts of the eye may be infected, sometimes affecting both eyes or, just one.
Eye infections are common and are caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites. Eye infections occur due to foreign matter entering the eyes, contact with infected individual or infected body part, and occurrence of certain health conditions that affect eye health.
The most common signs and symptoms of eye infections are redness, itchiness, swelling, pain inside the eyes, sudden change in vision, dry or watery eyes, frequent yellowish discharge, under eye puffiness and sensitivity to light. While many eye infections cause severe discomfort, in many cases, these do not require any special treatment or attention. Unfortunately, however, many eye infections can also be severe yet go unnoticed, causing blurring of vision or even blindness.
Common Eye Infections
Some of the most common eye infections are listed below:
Also called “pink eye” or “red eye”, conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the white part of the eye which results to a pinkish or reddish color. It is perhaps the most commonly occurring eye infection, and may be caused by bacteria, virus, allergens including dust and pollution, incorrect use of contact lenses or, other bodily infections or health conditions like having a cold, chickenpox, measles or HIV infection
Conjunctivitis caused by microorganisms can be highly contagious. People who are infected are often advised to stay indoors to avoid transferring the infection to other people
A stye is an abscess or pimple-looking swelling on or inside the eyelids caused by clogged oil glands or bacteria. Although styes can be very painful, the condition normally heals within two or three days. Some styes may be buried deeper into the eyelid and need special medical attention
If you suffer from recurring stye, you may have to practice better hygiene and eye care habits. Stye is also commonly caused by bacteria on the skin which find its way to your eyelids. Make sure you keep your eyelids clean. Recurring stye may also be a sign that you have blepharitis
Blepharitis is a chronic eye infection that tends to make the eyelids scaly and rough. It may occur outside or inside your eyelids. Blepharitis outside the eye may be caused by either bacteria or dandruff-causing yeast. On the other hand, blepharitis of the inner eyelid is caused by abnormal oil production of glands. Thus, this type of blepharitis is often accompanied by dry eyes
A consultation with your eye doctor is necessary if blepharitis is suspected. Blepharitis seldom completely heals but your doctor may be able to prescribe treatment to ease discomfort whenever a relapse of blepharitis occurs
This condition may be caused by bacteria or fungi which affect the eyelids, eyebrows, cheeks, and soft tissues in the inner regions of the eyes. Most cases are caused by blocked sinuses, causing microorganisms naturally occurring in the sinus and upper respiratory tract to find their way into soft tissues of the eyes and surrounding areas
If not treated promptly and properly, orbital cellulitis can result to serious complications. One in ten cases of orbital cellulitis results to complete loss of vision
Also known as corneal ulcers, keratitis is characterized by a sore causing inflammation of the cornea, the transparent, thin, film-like tissue that protects the inner parts of the eyes. This inflammation may be caused by microorganisms, foreign objects including contact lenses, scratches, dry eyes or, suppressed immune system
Keratitis, if left untreated, can cause blurred vision and, in rare cases, even complete eye loss
This eye problem is characterized by either an acute or chronic infection of the tear duct caused by microorganisms. It is most common in women than in men, and more frequently occurs on the left eye. Accompanying symptoms include redness, swelling, excessive tears, and pain
Eye Infection Remedies
Most eye infections will disappear naturally without medical intervention but, there are ways to make them disappear faster. Follow the tips below to keep you more comfortable while letting your eye infection pass.
- Eye sores can be relieved by using hot compress. Clean your hands and your affected eye thoroughly. Reach for a clean towel and dip into lukewarm water. Close your eyes and press the towel against your infected eye. Warm compresses can be soothing, and it also helps sores or ulcers ripen and burst faster
- Keep eye area clean by scrubbing eyelids thoroughly yet gently to avoid scratching it. A mild, organic soap or baby soap will be handy. Rinse out the soap completely. Make sure your hands are clean before scrubbing your eyelids
While your sore eyes are waiting to heal, refrain from putting on eye makeup and using your contact lenses so as not to irritate your infected eye further. Also, wear sunglasses or any protective eye gear if you are stepping out to prevent foreign matter from entering your eyes and aggravate the infected area.