Eye Infections are typically caused by bacterial, viral, or fungal microorganisms that enter either into the eye or the area surrounding the eye. Anytime you suspect an eye infection, you should visit your eye doctor for a comprehensive eye exam.
Eye infections can affect one or both eyes, and can occur in people of all ages. Symptoms can include irritation, redness, discharge, and reduced vision.
There are many different types of eye infections and your eye doctor needs to determine the particular type of eye infection you have in order to prescribe the proper treatment.
People who wear contact lenses are particularly susceptible to eye infections due to the decrease in oxygen reaching their corneas and due to bacterial or fungal buildup caused by failure to properly disinfect their contact lenses.
The most common bacterial eye infections clear up, particularly with prompt treatment such as prescription antibiotic eye drops or ointments and compresses.
Many common viral eye infections resolve on their own. In cases of severe viral eye infections, an anti-viral eye drop may be prescribed. Some viral eye infections may require steroid eye drops to reduce related inflammation.
Depending on the underlying cause of your eye infection, your eye doctor also may prescribe antibiotics or antiviral medications that are taken orally. If your symptoms worsen or change, contact your eye doctor immediately.
Many types of eye infections are spread easily from person to person. You can minimize the likelihood of catching common bacterial or viral eye infections by using anti-infective sprays and cleansers. If you have an eye infection you should avoid touching your eyes without washing your hands. If you are a contact lens wearer, you should follow safety tips for good hygiene, such as hand washing before you handle your contacts.
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