Dr. Jim Martin 09/16/2015

5595158_orig_1.pngEye infections are not only uncomfortable, if left untreated they can cause severe or permanent damage to your eyes. Being aware of these infections, their causes and symptoms could save you in the long run.
Conjunctivitis: More commonly referred to as pink eye, this is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, the thin clear covering over the white parts of the eye. There are three primary types of conjunctivitis:

  • Viral Conjunctivitis is highly contagious, and may take weeks to clear up.

  • Bacterial Conjunctivitis can cause serious eye damage without immediate treatment.

  • Allergic Conjunctivitis is caused by irritants or dander and is typically seasonal.

Symptoms of conjunctivitis include drainage and/or red, irritated eyes.

Fungal Keratitis: This is an eye infection caused by fungi invading the eye through an injury or contaminated contact lens or contact lens solution.

Micro-organisms such as bacteria and fungi can attach themselves to the surface of soft contact lenses and in turn find their way into the eye. Using fresh contact solution and properly cleaning your contacts can help reduce the risk of fungal infections.

Some symptoms of a fungal infection include irritation, redness, discharge, light sensitivity, and blurred vision. If left untreated, a fungal infection can cause severe and permanent damage to your eye.

Acanthamoeba Keratitis: This rare infection is caused by the introduction of amoebas into the eye through contaminated water supply or contact with soil. While it is rare when it occurs, it is very difficult to treat and may result in the need for a cornea transplant.

To help reduce the risk of contamination, you should never use tap water to clean contacts and avoid exposing your contacts to any possibly contaminated water source such as showers, pools, or hot tubs.

Because its symptoms are similar to pink eye, the condition can often be misdiagnosed. Early treatment is essential to prevent further complications and the risk of surgery.

Endophthalmitis: This is an eye infection, that if left untreated, can cause blindness. It is an inflammation of the entire eye and can completely damage all of the eye tissue. It is caused by bacteria coming to the eye either from the bloodstream or directly into the eye through trauma or surgery.

With endophthalmitis, you may experience extreme pain and irritation, loss of vision, swelling of the eyelid and a collection of pus at the front of your eye. If you have any of these symptoms, seek medical treatment immediately as it often requires hospitalization.

If you suspect you may have an eye infection, it is important to seek treatment because early diagnosis is key in relief. If you live in the Amarillo area and are experiencing any symptoms,contact Broome Optical today for an appointment.

Schedule An Eye Exam