Common eye infections can be easily confused with allergies and even dry eyes. In fact, if you have ever had red, itchy eyes, you may have wondered whether it’s a symptom of allergies or dry eyes or a more serious condition, such as an eye infection. Here is some useful information about eye infections as compared to allergies and dry eye problems:
About Allergies & Dry Eyes
Symptoms of Allergies or Dry Eyes
- 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 eyes affect both eyes.
- Treatment options usually include resting your eyes or using an over-the-counter or prescription eye drops, as recommended by your eye doctor.
About Eye Infections
Symptoms of Eye Infections
- Frequently occurs when bacteria, fungi or viruses attack any part of your eye, including the surface, membrane lining of the outer eye and inner eyelid, 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; usually occurs only in one eye; if symptoms are detected, immediately contact your eye doctor for an evaluation
Types of Eye Infections
- Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis) – A common infection that is highly contagious.
- Viral Keratitis –Can be simply related to a respiratory virus or cold or more serious such as Ocular Herpes that occurs when exposed to the Herpes Simplex Virus.
- Fungal Keratitis – A fungus commonly found in organic matter such as soil, leaves or branches of a tree.
- Acanthamoeba Keratitis – 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 – Usually found in underdeveloped countries. Typically infects the inner eyelid along with eyelashes touching the area can infect the cornea and cause permanent blindness.
- Endophthalmitis – Occurs with a penetrating eye injury or complication following eye surgery and if left untreated, may lead to blindness.
- If you experience symptoms associated with an eye infection, contact Eyecare Medical Group 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 or is confused about they have an eye infection, an eye allergy or even a dry eye problem, please call Eyecare Medical Group, 53 Sewall Street, Portland, Maine 04102 at 888-374-2020, visit Eyecare Medical Group or facebook.com/eyecaremedicalgroup to schedule an appointment.