Ocular infections are a group of conditions that affect the eyes and can be caused by a variety of microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, and fungi. These infections can range from mild, self-limiting conditions to severe and potentially vision-threatening disorders.
Some common types of ocular infections include:
- Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, is an infection of the clear membrane that covers the white part of the eye and the inside of the eyelids. It can be caused by a virus, bacteria, or an allergen. Symptoms include redness, itching, and discharge.
- Keratitis, an infection of the cornea, the clear front surface of the eye. It can be caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi and can lead to inflammation, pain, and reduced vision.
- Uveitis, an inflammation of the middle layer of the eye, known as the uvea. It can be caused by various underlying conditions, including infections, and can lead to eye pain, redness, and light sensitivity.
- Endophthalmitis, an infection of the interior of the eye, which can lead to severe vision loss if not treated promptly. It can be caused by bacteria or fungi and is typically a complication of eye surgery or injury.
Symptoms of ocular infections can vary depending on the type and severity of the infection but may include redness, pain, discharge, light sensitivity, and reduced vision.
Diagnosis of ocular infections is usually made by one of our optometrists during a comprehensive eye exam. Additional testing, such as a culture or PCR test may be performed to identify the specific microorganism causing the infection.
Treatment for ocular infections typically involves the use of antibiotics, antiviral, or antifungal medications, either in the form of eye drops, ointments, or oral medications.
Preventing ocular infections involves practicing good hygiene, such as washing your hands frequently and avoiding touching your eyes with dirty hands. In addition, avoiding sharing personal items such as towels, contact lenses, and makeup can also help reduce the risk of infection.
It is important to note that ocular infections, if left untreated, can lead to serious complications such as vision loss, so it is important to seek medical attention if you experience symptoms of an ocular infection.