Having an eye infection is one of life’s little annoyances. The good thing is that most of these infections are easy to spot, which gives you the opportunity to quickly seek treatment from your eye doctor if needed. Eye infections are divided into three categories depending on their cause: bacterial, viral or fungal, which determines the course of treatment. Here are the most common causes of such infections.
Stye in Your Eye
A stye is a pimple-like bump that can develop on the outer edge of your eyelid. It forms when an oil gland is clogged with oils, dead skin and other debris. While painful, a stye will typically resolve on its own. If it lasts longer than a week or the pain and swelling increases, it is time to see an eye doctor.
Conjunctivitis or pink eye can be highly infectious depending on its underlying cause. If caused by a virus or bacteria, it can be spread to others up to two weeks after it begins. Allergic conjunctivitis is not contagious and can be treated with OTC medication.
Blepharitis is an inflammation of the eyelids. It is usually caused by clogged oil glands at the base of the eyelashes. The infection is typically caused by bacteria. You can be more susceptible to developing blepharitis if you have problems with your oil glands, suffer from eye allergies, have allergies to your makeup or experience dandruff on your scalp or eyebrows.
Keratitis is an infection of the eye’s cornea. The infection can be viral, bacterial, fungal or parasitic. It might also be caused by an injury to the eye. Treatment is required to stop this infection unless it is viral and then will need to just run its course.
Cellulitis is a common skin infection that is caused by bacteria, like Staphylococcus or bacteria spread from a sinus infection. It is very common among young children. Antibiotics are often needed to stop the infection.
When to See a Doctor
It is crucial that you seek medical attention if you experience the following symptoms with a suspected eye infection:
- Eye pain
- Colored discharge
- Excessive itchiness and burning
- Light sensitivity
- Feel that something is stuck in your eye
- Changes in vision
Contact Valley Eyecare Center to schedule an exam with one of our eye professionals by calling (602) 955-2700.