Do your eyes feel itchy, tired, or heavy? You may be suffering from an eye infection.
Viruses, fungi, and bacteria are the common culprits behind infections in the eye. They can cause the sclera (the white of your eyes), pupil, and surrounding areas to appear swollen and red, with your eyelids often turning a shade of purple. Sometimes, you’ll even have crusty lids and lashes, particularly when you wake up in the morning. Another telltale sign of an eye infection is the presence of a clear, yellow, or green discharge.
Aside from being cumbersome, eye infections can also affect your sense of sight. You may experience blurry vision, along with feeling pain and discomfort in your eyes. You may also encounter a burning itch, partnered with eyelids that are tender to the touch. For those who wear contact lenses, you may have difficulties trying to wear them due to excessive watering and how swollen your eyes can become. In worse case scenarios, some people may even experience fevers and swollen lymph nodes around the ear.
Despite these symptoms, eye infections are actually preventable. The key though is understanding what causes them in the first place.
How do I get an infection?
All About Vision explains, “Eye infections occur when harmful microorganisms like bacteria, fungi, and viruses invade any part of the eyeball or surrounding area.” It can be triggered by touching infected objects or people, and then rubbing one’s eyes after the encounter. This is a common cause of infection for the likes of conjunctivitis.
Some infections are very contagious, while some are limited to the carrier. In all cases, should you suspect that you have an eye infection, you should immediately go to a doctor to have it diagnosed. That way, you will be able to ward away the infection before it can become worse.
How can I avoid an infection?
The safest way around this is to avoid touching your eyes without washing your hands. People who wear contact lenses should make it a habit to wash their hands with soap and water before attempting to put in or remove their contacts. Children should be taught not to rub their eyes or to touch them in any way.
In cases when someone in your family has contracted conjunctivitis or other forms of contagious eye infections, you must take action to prevent other family members from getting infected. Make sure to keep their beddings (especially pillow cases) and personal hygiene items (such as towels) clean and isolated. Instruct other members of the family to avoid using these items. Also, reiterate to the person with the infection to wash their hands frequently. Other members of the family should also use disinfectants such as antibacterial sanitizer or isopropyl alcohol.
What should I do if my eyes contract an infection?
Eye infections can worsen and result in disastrous complications if you leave them untreated for a long time. To minimize this, it always pays to go to trusted clinics such as Arizona Retinal Specialists on the onset of your infection. Call us today at 623-474-3937 (EYES).