Common Eye Infections
Common eye infections can be caused by bacterial, viral, or fungal infections. An infection can involve any part of one eye or both eyes simultaneously. Some can spread very quickly from person to person. Each type has a different method of treatment.
Signs and Symptoms
Many times the first sign people notice scratchiness to the eye. It feels like there is a grain of sand in the eye that will not go away. Other symptoms include a pink or red cast to the eye, with or without discharge. The discharge can be watery or thick with a yellow or green tint. The eyes can become itchy and generate more tears than normal.
Common eye infections and Treatment
Conjunctivitis or pink eye is usually caused by the bacteria staphylococcus, haemophilus, streptococcus, and moraxella. You must see your health care provider as soon as possible for an accurate diagnosis. If it is a bacterial infection treatment consists of an antibiotic, usually in drops or ointment. For example, your doctor may prescribe ciprofloxacin, sodium sulfacetamine, azithromycin or erythromycin. Symptoms will resolve in a few days of beginning treatment; however, complete the whole course as advised by your physician.
Another of the common eye infections is viral conjunctivitis is self-limiting, which means it goes away by itself within 7 to 10 days. It is can be caused by herpes viruses, adenoviruses, rubella, picornaviruses, and rubella measles. For comfort you can apply warm, wet, compresses to the eyes, wash your hands often and minimize closeness with others. Sometimes people get relief with over-the-counter (OTC) loratadine (Claritin) or diphenhydramine (Benadryl), which are antihistamines. Be careful as these medications can make you sleepy.
Fungal conjunctivitis is extremely rare, but serious. It can occur as a result of eye trauma, such as a thorn, metal fragment, or stick. You must see a physician immediately for this type of injury; if necessary go to an urgent care or emergency room.
We have only one pair of eyes. When in doubt seek out a doctor. Maintaining your eye health is essential for long-term vision clarity.