Harmful bacteria and viruses are the main causes of eye infections. Viruses and bacteria can be introduced to the eyes on a person’s hands, through their sinuses or even by means of contact lenses which are not properly cared for. When the body’s immune system fails to immediately eradicate a virus or bacteria in the eyes, an infection will occur. Several different types of eye infections – both bacterial and viral – exist, but some are more common than others.
Symptoms of blepharitis include white, flaky debris present on the eyelids, itching and sometimes redness. Most commonly, a bacterial infection of the eyelid causes blepharitis, but sometimes microscopic mites are to blame.
Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)
Characterized by pink coloration in the infected eye (sometimes one or both), conjunctivitis is the inflammation of the conjunctiva (underside of the eyelid and surface of the eye). It also causes excessive tearing and irritation. Viruses, bacteria and allergies can cause different types of conjunctivitis. Bacterial infections often also lead to yellow or greenish discharge and require antibiotics for treatment. Viral conjunctivitis, like the common cold, is highly contagious and will clear up on its own.
Contact Lens Acute Red Eye
This infection is caused by bacteria introduced to the eye on dirty contact lenses. It causes painful, watery, red eyes and only occurs in patients who wear contact lenses.
Another bacterial eye infection, corneal ulcer can occur due to over-use of contact lenses, poor contact lens hygiene and even due to bacterial exposure in hot tubs or fresh water. Ulcers occur when bacteria infect the cornea and puncture the surface. Corneal ulcers are painful and should be treated immediately with antibiotics to prevent vision loss.
When bacteria infects and blocks oil glands, it causes a painful red bump on the eyelid.
Treatment of eye disease and eye infection varies based on the condition. Viral infections typically clear up on their own, but bacterial infections sometimes require antibiotic eye drops, ointments or oral medications.
At Innovision Family Eyecare in Katy, Dr. Sanwari is fully equipped to provide diagnosis and effective treatment of eye infections and common eye diseases like glaucoma, macular degeneration and cataracts. If you or your child experiences any change in vision or unusual symptoms in your eyes, you should schedule an eye exam right away. The sooner treatment begins, the sooner your vision will return to normal and the sooner you will find relief from unpleasant or painful symptoms.