Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Eye Infection: What You Should Know!

Almost everyone has experienced red, itchy eyes and wondered what it was. It can be confusing because the symptom of allergies or dry eyes or a more serious condition, such as an eye infection can be similar. Here is an overview of allergies and dry eye as compared to an eye infection.

About Allergies & Dry Eyes
Symptoms of Allergies or Dry Eye
  • 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 eye affects both eyes.
  • Treatment options usually include resting your eyes or using over-the-counter or prescription eye drops, as would be recommended by your eye doctor. 

About Eye Infections
Symptoms of Eye Infections
  • Eye infections occur when bacteria, fungi or viruses attack any part of your eye, including the surface, the membrane lining of the outer eye and inner eyelid or 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 which usually occurs only in one eye. If you experience these symptoms you should immediately contact Alabama Eye & cataract Center at 205-930-0930 and schedule an appointment.

Types of Eye Infections
  • Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis) is a common infection that is highly contagious.
  • Viral Keratitis can be simply related to a respiratory virus or cold or more serious infection such as Ocular Herpes that occurs when exposed to the Herpes Simplex Virus.
  • Fungal Keratitis is a corneal infection from a fungus commonly found in organic matter such as soil, leaves or branches of a tree.
  • Acanthamoeba Keratitis is a corneal infection caused by a parasite that attacks the eye more often in individuals wearing contact lenses and swimming in pools, lakes, ponds, hot tubs or streams who are at increased risk for contracting this infection.
  • Trachoma is not something we see in Birmingham but is found in underdeveloped countries. Typically Trachoma infects the inner eyelid along with eyelashes touching the area can infect the cornea and cause permanent blindness.
  • Endophthalmitis is a serious infection inside the eye 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 Alabama Eye & Cataract 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 infection of any type of experiences symptoms of an eye infection schedule an appointment at Alabama Eye & Cataract Center in Birmingham by calling 205-930-0930, visiting Alabama Eye & Cataract Center or http://www.facebook.com/michelsonlaservision.

Alabama Eye & Cataract Center in Birmingham is a leading eye care center located at UAB-Highlands, 1201 11th Avenue S, Suite 501, Birmingham, Alabama 35205 and staffed by UAB Medicine Ophthalmologists Marc Michelson, M.D. and Tyler Hall, M.D.