Eye Infections - Common Eye Infections and Their Cures by jamesdweaver


									                        Eye Health Series – VIII
       Eye Infections - Causes, Cures and Symptoms
An eye disease caused by pathogens such as bacteria, fungi, viruses and other microbes is called
an eye infection. Eye infections can range from the common conjunctivitis to rare allergies. Eye
infections can vary in the degree of severity, but in most cases, they are easy to cure.

Eye infections are usually transferable from one person to the other. They can strike anyone
regardless of their ocular health, though they tend to be more common among those who wear
contact lenses. This is largely due to infections in the contact lens itself.

An eye infection may be caused either due to direct contact with pathogens through eye wear,
eye lids, etc., or through remote contact through sinuses. Infections can be caused through
infected eye wear, eye surgery, injuries or trauma, vitamin or mineral deficiencies, or immune
deficiencies as well.

Symptoms for various infections differ. The most common type of infection - that is, bacterial
conjunctivitis - results in red, swollen and itchy eyes. There is frequent discharge of liquid and
constant irritation. The eyes may also appear swollen with excessive tearing.

Other infections, such as blepharitis typically has similar symptoms. The eyes turn red, there is
excessive tearing, and constant discomfort. Blepharitis also involve light and glare sensitivity
and a burning sensation. If your eyes turn excessively red or are painful, it is best advised to
consult an ophthalmologist immediately for proper diagnosis, especially since most eye
infections are similar in immediately discernible symptoms.

Eye infections can strike anyone but tend to be more common in children or those with poor
hygiene or health. If you've undergone any eye surgery recently, chances of an infection increase

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manifold. Trauma or injury can also lead to an eye infection, so proper care is a must. Further,
since most infections are highly contagious, you should avoid contact with any patient.

An eye infection can occur through contact with an infected surface, whether it is a hand or a
pair of glasses/contact lenses. You should take care to always wash your hands before touching
your eyes. You should also never share eye make-up, glasses or contact lenses with anyone, let
alone an infected person. You should also avoid using towels, handkerchiefs, etc. used by an
infected person.

Further preventive measures include wearing eye protection whenever you are out in the sun,
not sharing any eyewear cleaning solutions, and avoiding exposure to contaminated or dirty

Treatment is infection dependent and correct diagnosis is the first step. Some infections such as
conjunctivitis are very contagious and require the patient to remain in isolation. Most treatment
courses involve an antibiotic eye-drop or ointment along with antibacterial medication ingested
orally. Most doctors will also advise warm compresses applied directly to the eyes frequently,
which helps remove any debris from the eyes and reducing bacteria.

Eye infections are easily curable in most cases, though the biggest challenge is containing their
spread as they are highly contagious. If you do get affected, it is best advised to stay in isolation
for a few days until the symptoms reduce.

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