Eye infections can occur from bacteria, fungi, or viruses. They can affect your vision and cause redness, swelling, discharge, and pain. At Specs Appeal in St. George, Utah, skilled optometrists Chad Waggoner, OD, and Reed Gibb, OD, treat various eye infections using the latest diagnostic techniques and treatments. If you’re experiencing symptoms of an eye infection, don’t hesitate to call the office today or schedule an appointment online.
Bacteria or viruses commonly cause eye infections. Bacteria normally live on the skin, but when there is an injury to the eye, the bacteria can get in, causing infection. You can also get an eye infection from bacteria or viruses that do not live on the skin by shaking hands with someone and rubbing your eye. It can also be acquired by sharing towels, cosmetics, or pillows.
Other common causes of eye infections include fungi, allergens, environmental pollution, chemicals, and foreign bodies (such as a loose eyelash).
Eye infections can occur in one or both eyes. It's important to look out for symptoms such as:
Depending on the type of eye infection and its cause, Dr. Gibb or Dr. Waggoner may recommend a certain kind of treatment. The most common types of eye infections are:
This is an infection of the conjunctiva that gives your eye a pink color, hence the name pinkeye. It’s usually caused by bacteria or viruses and commonly occurs in people who have a cold.
This appears as a painful, red bump under the eyelid or base of the eyelashes. A stye occurs when the oil glands in the eyelid or eyelashes get infected with bacteria.
This type of infection commonly occurs in people who wear contact lenses. The cornea becomes inflamed from bacteria, viruses, or parasites.
Eye infections caused by fungi are rare, but can be severe. Most fungal eye infections occur after an eye injury. They can also happen if you wear contact lenses that aren’t cleaned well.
Treatment of eye infections depends on whether a virus or bacteria caused it. Eye infections caused by viruses will typically resolve on their own. If bacteria caused the infection, you’ll need antibiotics, usually in the form of drops or ointment. Be sure to take the antibiotics for the entire duration they are prescribed. You can also do some self-care measures, such as applying a cool compress to the eyes to help relieve pain, itching, or swelling.
If you suspect you have an eye infection, call our office today or schedule an appointment online. Dr. Waggoner or Dr. Gibb will be happy to assess your eyes and make a diagnosis.