When pathogenic microorganisms, such as bacteria, fungi, or viruses, infect any area of the eyeball or its surrounding tissues, it leads to eye infections.
There are several ways that an infection in your eye could show itself.
It is most likely an eye infection if you’re experiencing discomfort, swelling, itching, or redness in your eyes.
Even though most minor eye infections clear up on their own, some can be dangerous and require immediate medical attention.
Eye infection treatment mostly depends upon the causative agent and the area of the eye they affect.
This article looks into the different types of eye infections and ways to treat and prevent them from spreading.
Eye infection treatment
There are different types of eye infections depending on the area that gets infected.
These include Conjunctivitis, Blepharitis, Cellulitis, Keratitis, Uveitis, and Stye.
Each type of eye infection differs in causes and severity, and so do the treatments.
Pink Eye or Conjunctivitis
Conjunctivitis, or “Pink Eye,” is an infection or inflammation of the conjunctiva. It can be brought on by viruses, bacteria, or allergies.
Mild cases of Bacterial Pink Eye usually resolve on their own in two weeks. However, prescription antibiotic eye drops or ointments are required for severe infections.
Similarly, most viral eye infections go away on their own.
An antiviral or steroid eye drop may be recommended in situations of severe viral eye infections.
Keratitis occurs as an inflammation or infection of the cornea brought on by waterborne germs, viruses, or bacteria.
It can be treated effectively with antibiotic, antiviral, or antifungal eye drops or tablets.
The treatment for Bacterial Keratitis includes antibiotic eye drops. Meanwhile, antifungal eye drops and oral antifungal medications help treat Keratitis caused by fungus.
Antiviral eye drops and oral antiviral medications may be useful if a virus is the source of the illness. Other infections just require supporting measures, like artificial tears.
Cellulitis is the infection of tissues in the eyes. For treating Cellulitis, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics.
You can also reduce the irritation in your eyes by placing a warm water compress over them for 20 minutes.
Surgery can be required in more severe instances to remove fluid from the infected site.
Stye is an infection of the eyelid that often affects an oil gland or eyelash follicle. Most cases of Styes will resolve on their own with home remedies.
This includes using a warm compress four times a day for fifteen minutes each time on the infected eye.
A light massage on the nodule may also help in relieving the discomfort associated with the condition.
Blepharitis is an inflammation of the eyelids brought on by an obstruction of the oil glands located at the base of the lashes.
Home care is effective for overcoming Blepharitis symptoms.
It is beneficial to regularly clean the eyelids and lashes with water and baby shampoo.
Steroids or antibiotics may be necessary in severe Blepharitis patients.
Uveitis is an infection of the uvea brought on by certain viruses, such as herpes.
Your doctor may prescribe steroid injections, eye drops, and tablets for Uveitis treatment, depending on the underlying cause of the infection.
Steroid medications, such as Prednisolone, are effective in treating most types of Uveitis.
Are you misinterpreting Pink Eye symptoms with that of Stye? Read our article: Pink Eye vs Stye: Understanding Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment to know more.
Home treatment for eye infection
Besides medical intervention, most eye infections can go away with home treatments.
You might be able to reduce the symptoms of your eye infection by trying one of the many successful home remedies.
Some of the commonly employed home remedies for eye infection include saltwater, green tea bags, essential oils, and warm and cold compresses.
Saltwater helps in removing pus, debris, or liquid discharge, thereby soothing the discomfort caused by the disease.
Green tea bags have strong anti-inflammatory and soothing qualities that can effectively relieve swelling and irritation in the eyes.
Essential oils like tea tree, peppermint, and rosemary oils, with possible antibacterial qualities, can combat bacteria that cause eye infections.
A warm compress can help with an inflamed, itchy, or painful eye. It has been shown that using a warm compress to the eyes can also effectively cure Blepharitis and relieve dry eyes.
Cold compresses can reduce swelling and irritation when it comes to eye infections and injuries. However, cold compresses can not totally cure eye infections.
Although these home treatments for eye infections could be effective, it’s always advisable to consult a doctor before considering them.
Keratitis and Conjunctivitis are two different types of eye infections that may affect your vision if left untreated. Read our article: Keratitis vs Conjunctivitis: How are They Different?
Preventing eye infection
Eye infections can spread from one person to another quickly if not addressed on time.
The following precautions should be taken to avoid eye infections from spreading:
- Avoid touching your face or eyes with unclean hands
- Clean tissues and towels should be used around your eyes to wipe away any liquid discharge
- Keep your face and eye cosmetics distinct from other people
- Wash the pillowcases and bed linens at least once a week
- Do not touch anyone with an eye infection
- Anything that has come into touch with an infected eye should be replaced or avoided
- Keep yourself and your environment hygienic
Cellulitis, Keratitis, and Conjunctivitis are some common eye infections with different causes and symptoms.
Some common symptoms of eye infections include itching, discharge, blurred vision, and others.
It’s essential to get medical attention immediately if you think you have an eye infection.
If left untreated, eye infections can become worse and can cause complications or visual issues.
Most eye infections usually go away on their own within a few days.
However, some infections may need immediate medical intervention.
For an accurate diagnosis and a treatment plan customized for your particular situation, always seek the advice of an eye care specialist.
Proper eye infection treatment and certain home remedies may help in reducing the symptoms.
Also, to stop the transmission of illness, you should maintain proper hygiene.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to treat eye infections?
Eye infections can be treated based on their cause.
Most eye infections can be treated effectively with antibiotics and antivirals.
Apart from this, several home treatments can also help in reducing symptoms of infections.
What is the best antibiotic for bacterial eye infections?
Some of the most commonly used antibiotics for treating bacterial eye infections include Fluoroquinolones, Aminoglycosides, and Macrolides.
How to treat an eye infection at home in 24 hours?
Eye infection can be cured at home using warm and cold compresses, saltwater, green tea bags, and essential oils like tea tree and rosemary oil.
How long does it take for an eye infection to clear up with antibiotics?
Antibiotics generally recommended for treating bacterial eye infections can aid in overcoming symptoms of the infection within two weeks.
What is good for eye infection?
Warm and cold compresses, lubricating eye drops, and antibiotics are good for eye infections.