Monday, June 22, 2015

Eye Infection Information to Know

Did you ever have red, itchy, runny eyes and wondered if it is from allergies or dry eyes or perhaps an eye infection? There are differences in what you typically experience with eye allergies, dry eyes and eye infections and it might just be worth having some helpful information. Here is an overview of allergies and dry eye as compared to an eye infection.

About Allergies & Dry Eyes
Symptoms of Allergies or Dry Eyes
  • If you work at a computer for an extended time or have allergies to products or airborne substances, you may experience dry, red or irritated eyes. 
  • Generally allergies and dry eyes affect both eyes. 
  • Treatment options usually include resting your eyes or using an over-the-counter or prescription eye drops, as recommended by your eye doctor.
About Eye Infections
Symptoms of Eye Infections
  • Frequently occurs when bacteria, fungi or viruses attack any part of your eye, including the surface, membrane lining of the outer eye and inner eyelid, interior portions or the soft tissue of the eyelid. 
  • Infections inside the eye or in the soft tissue of the eyelid are the most dangerous and if left untreated, the condition may spread throughout the eye. 
  • Symptoms usually include redness, pain, discharge, watering and sensitivity to light; usually occurs only in one eye; if symptoms are detected, immediately contact your eye doctor for an evaluation.


Types of Eye Infections
  • Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis) is a common infection that is highly contagious. 
  • Viral Keratitis may be simply related to a respiratory virus or cold or more serious such as Ocular Herpes that occurs when exposed to the Herpes Simplex Virus. 
  • Fungal Keratitis is due to infection caused by a fungus commonly found in organic matter such as soil, leaves or branches of a tree. 
  • Acanthamoeba Keratitis is caused by a parasite that attacks the eye more often in individuals wearing contact lenses who enter swimming in pools, lakes, ponds, hot tubs or streams where their risk of contracting this infection is the greatest. 
  • Trachoma is more typically found in underdeveloped countries and infects the inner eyelid along with eyelashes touching the area can infect the cornea and cause permanent blindness. 
  • Endophthalmitis is a serious eye infection that is due to a penetrating eye injury or complication following eye surgery and if left untreated, may lead to blindness. 

Preventing Eye Infections
  • If you experience symptoms associated with an eye infection, contact Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center immediately. Prompt treatment is necessary to reduce the risk of permanent blindness.
  • To avoid eye infections, wash your hands throughout the day, especially if you are near an individual with a red eye or other signs of infection. Contact lens wearers should follow care and handling instructions provided by their eye doctor.
If you or someone you know is concerned about having an eye infections please call Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center at 219-464-8223, or visit Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center, Google+ or facebook.com/nwindianaeyeandlaser.

Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center offices are located at 502 Marquette Street, Valparaiso, Indiana 46383 and 1001 South Edgewood Drive, Knox, Indiana 46354.