Individuals of all ages can get eye infections. The symptoms are often bothersome, while others resolve on their own. However, some eye infections tend to be severe and can cause injury to the eye and lead to permanent vision loss.
An eye infection is a viral or bacterial contamination of the eye or surrounding tissue. It tends to occur in areas like the eyelid, conjunctiva, and cornea. The conjunctiva is the moist layer on the inside of the eyelid. The cornea is the clear outer surface of the eye.
Eye infection symptoms include discharge, itching, formation of crust around the eye, and swelling. You could also have an eye infection if you have increased tearing. The symptoms occur quickly and can last up to two weeks if it is a viral infection. Bacterial infections can clear fast if treated with an antibiotic.
Below are more of the common eye infection symptoms:
Crusting along your eyelid margins
Eyelashes or eyelids stuck together when you wake up from sleep
Feeling like you have sand in your eyes
Sore, red, or bloodshot eyes
Eyelid swelling and its surrounding skin
Eye infections often start in one eye and then spread to the other. You may have a severe condition that needs emergency care.
A bacterial or viral infection is the primary reason why eye infections occur. It occurs when they invade your eye, your cornea, or conjunctiva. Bacteria live on the skin. However, an injury or irritation can let them into other parts of your body like the eye. As a result, an infection occurs.
You can also get an eye infection from a virus after touching infected objects and then rubbing your eyes. Sharing infected things like pillows is also not safe.
Your risk for infections can increase due to several factors. However, not everyone with the following risk factors can get an eye infection:
Common cold infection
Wearing contact lenses without proper storage
Exposure to eye infections
Sharing personal care items, linens, or cosmetics
Some eye infections spread fast. However, you can reduce your chances of spreading or catching them through good hygiene. Regular washing of hands can help.
You can also lower your risk by avoiding close contact with individuals with eye infections. Avoid touching or rubbing your eyes. If you are a contact lens wearer, follow instructions when cleaning, storing, and wearing them.
Parents should keep their kids from school if their eyes get infected. It is also ideal to avoid handkerchiefs and use disposable tissues.
Visual evidence, severity, and the type of infection will determine the diagnosis. Viral eye infections usually resolve without treatment. Bacterial eye infections clear once you take prescribed antibiotics. Often, self and home-care measures can reduce the discomfort.
For more about eye infections, visit Williams Eye Care at our office in Frisco or Fairview, Texas. Call (972) 549-4255 or (972) 335-9529 to book an appointment today.