You may have heard of fungal infections such as valley fever, thrush, and even ringworm, but did you know fungal infections can also take root in your eye? Fungal keratitis can cause vision loss if it goes untreated. Knowing what symptoms to watch out for can ensure you receive prompt, proper treatment.

What is Fungal Keratitis?

Fungal keratitis is a fungal infection that takes root in your cornea, which is the clear dome that focuses light at the front of your eye. In the most benign cases, it remains on the outer layers of your cornea. These infections generally leave no scarring on the cornea. Deeper infections, however, can create scars after healing, which can have an affect on your vision.

What Causes Fungal Eye Infections?

The types of fungus that cause this infection often live in the water, soil, and plants in all parts of the world, though they’re more common in warmer climates. A common means of contracting this infection is an eye injury caused by contact with a plant. This can include getting hit in the eye with a branch or having plant matter blown into your eye by the wind.

Contact lens users are also at risk of a fungal infection if they do not follow proper lens cleaning procedures. They may also develop with improper contact lens use.

What Are the Symptoms of Fungal Keratitis?

Common symptoms of this infection include:

  • Discharge from your eye
  • Excessive tearing or watering
  • Often-sudden pain in the eye
  • Reduced vision
  • Light sensitivity

If you experience these symptoms, please see your vision care professional right away, especially if the symptoms occur very suddenly. Immediate treatment is the key to preserving your vision.

Treatment and Outcomes

Your eye doctor may carefully take a sample of the infection by scraping your eye. This will allow them to determine the cause of the infection. Treatment usually includes eye drops or medications taken by mouth. Should those treatments prove ineffective, surgery and even corneal transplants may be necessary.

The most serious cases don’t respond even to those extreme measures. This is why it’s vital to see a vision care professional immediately.

Set Your Sights on Valley Eyecare Center!

At Valley Eyecare Center, your good vision is our goal! We’re eager to provide you with the best eye care in Phoenix. Call us today at (602) 955-2700, or contact us online!