Usually caused by bacteria, fungal or viral factors, eye infections can be a serious problem. There are many different types of eye infections and each has different causes and treatments. The severity of eye infections ranges from being superficial, painful, contagious and damaging. If you suspect you have an eye infection go see an eye doctor, as it may need treatment.

Causes

There are many different causes of eye infections and they can affect any part of your eyes. Bacterial, fungal and viral agents all play a role in causing eye infections. To try and prevent eye infections here are a few things you can do:

  • Try not to touch your eyes
  • Have clean hands when handling contact lenses
  • Do not share contact lenses or accessories
  • Clean your glasses and contact lenses frequently
  • Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently
  • Wash your bedding and towels frequently
  • Do not share towels or face cloths
  • Replace your eye cosmetics regularly
  • Do not share your eye cosmetics

 

Symptoms

As there are a many types of eye infections the symptoms vary. Most common eye infection symptoms include:

  • Itchiness
  • Red eyes
  • Eye pain
  • Unusual discharge from the eye
  • Watery eyes
  • Swelling (of the eyelids or around the eye)

 

Common Eye Infections

Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis)

Pink eye is a very common eye infection that affects many people. It is caused by bacteria, viruses and allergies. The most noticeable symptoms are the eye becoming pink or red in colour along with discharge. Pink eye can be contagious and it is best to try and limit the spread of the bacteria. To prevent it from being spread from one eye to another or to a friends and family try not to touch the eye, do not share towels, cosmetics and wash your pillow cases and bedding often.

Stye

An eye stye is another very common bacterial eye infection that can occur easily. They occur when the glands around the eye become clogged causing a sore that has a very similar appearance to that of a pimple or a boil. The sore can cause pain, and can become uncomfortable depending on its location. Although styes can be painful most of the time they are harmless and do not cause any serious damage and usually do not require professional treatment. You can help prevent styes by limiting the touching of your eyes, washing your hands frequently, and by not sharing cosmetic products.

Treatment

Not all eye infections need treatment but it is necessary to see your eye doctor for a correct diagnosis on your eye infection, so they can ensure the correct treatment if needed. There are a variety of treatments you eye doctor can recommend, they usually include eye drops, antibiotics, cream and cold compresses. Depending on the severity of the infection you have the infection can last days or weeks, proper treatment is required.

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