Description: Infections that affect the eyes are usually characterized by the symptoms of conjunctivitis. Other diseases that cause reddening and irritation are blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelid) and inflammation of the follicles near the root of the eyelashes. Inflamed eyes and other symptoms of eye irritation are the reasons for contacting a doctor who will prescribe the appropriate treatment; timely therapy will help to avoid the development of serious diseases, such as glaucoma.
The main symptoms of ophthalmic infections:
- redness of the eye,
- dense yellowish or white discharge from the eye, increased tears,
- dried crusts on the eyelids and at the corners of the eyes in the morning, after sleep,
- feeling of sand in the eyes,
- swelling or excessive dry skin of the eyelids,
Serious eye infections or injuries require immediate medical help. Light infections can be treated with natural remedies, but in case of severe inflammation does not ease within three or four days, consult a doctor.
You can use ready-made solutions for rinsing the eyes, sold in pharmacies. They remove the main symptoms of infection – redness, edema and irritation caused by the inflammatory process, the trauma of the eyelid or eyes. Compresses from decoctions of chamomile and hydrastis also bring relief and are a good alternative to pharmacy products. To prepare a herbal compress, moisten a clean cloth in the broth and put it on your eyes for about 20-30 minutes. To strengthen the eyes, take vitamin C and zinc. Both substances increase the functionality of the immune system, help fight infection and are of great importance in the prevention of relapses. Vitamin C helps to speed up the healing process and protects the eyes from further inflammation. Zinc, which is highly concentrated in the eyes, increases its effectiveness.
Eye inflammation is often caused by ruptures or stretching of blood vessels. For preventive purposes, use a bilberry extract, which helps strengthen the capillaries.
Zinc, used in combination with antihistamines leads to a significant improvement in the condition in 80% of people with seasonal allergic conjunctivitis.
Over-the-counter ophthalmic drops intended to relieve the state of tired eyes cause some form of conjunctivitis. Excessive use of drops that soften the redness of the conjunctiva through narrowing of the blood vessels may be very problematic for some people.
Herbal teas for eye compresses must be sterile, otherwise, their use can lead to further infection. To avoid contamination, strain the cooled tea through sterile gauze and store it in a sealed container. Cook a fresh broth every day!
A good effect is provided by drinking chamomile or fennel tea. Drink two or three cups a day.
When visit an ophthalmologist:
- If the eyes are red and swollen, then, most likely, there is a bacterial infection that requires antibiotic therapy. If you wear contact lenses, take them off for some time.
- If there is pain in the eye or photophobia, you see blurry or (especially!) can not see at all.
- If the pupils are of unequal size or if there is a foreign body in the eye.
- If the symptoms do not disappear after four-day home treatment.
One of the reasons may be a parasitic worm:
Ophthalmic infection is not a complex and severe disease, with some exceptions. Nematodes is the most common cause of blindness in some parts of the world, for example, in tropical regions of Africa. Infection, usually, comes from undercooked meat or from water, contaminated by a sick person or animal. Most nematodes are also transmitted through insect bites, when parasite larvae penetrate the skin.
Nematode, focusing on the eyes, is called Loa Loa. It lives in the conjunctival sac between the sclera and conjunctiva, and is the cause of itching. It is transmitted mainly through insect bites in the tropical regions of Africa or India. The disease caused by the parasite is called “river blindness” (it can be carried by two other nematodes).
Blepharitis is a technical term for inflammation of the eyelids. It is a relatively common disease that occurs, most often, in people older than 50. Blepharitis, mainly, affects the part of the eyelids where the base of the eyelashes is located.
Inflammation of the eyelids edges occurs in the case when there is a blockage of the sebaceous glands located on the eyelashes. The glands are designed to lubricate the eyelid and eyelashes, and also protect the eyes from sweat.
Blepharitis is a chronic or long-term disease that can not only bring discomfort to a person, but is difficult to treat. But, despite this, in most cases, the disease does not lead to visual impairment or other complications.
Chlamydial eye infections:
Chlamydia are microorganisms that can cause many problems. Chlamydia get into human cells, where they live and reproduce. These cells subsequently die. In some cases, this behavior causes an infection, but sometimes – other diseases. They mainly affect the reproductive organs, joints, heart, brain, urinary system, lungs and eyes.
A person can get a chlamydial eye infection if he just rubs his eyes with unwashed hands. Chlamydia can be introduced into the body by using sponges, towels, cosmetics or even false eyelashes of other people. There is also a vertical route of infection when an infected mother transmits the infection to the child. Infection can be transmitted from another person who suffers from pulmonary chlamydial infection.
Symptoms of ophthalmic chlamydia are similar to those that occur with conventional conjunctivitis, and include redness, discharge, ulcers, sensitivity to light and swelling of the lymph nodes.
The disease is diagnosed by an ophthalmologist. The doctor examines the eye, creates a medical history and performs a smear from the conjunctiva. Sometimes he conducts a study for a venereal disease (syphilis, HIV, gonorrhea, AIDS).
Infection is treated with a combination of antibiotic drops and ointments. Treatment with antibiotics requires much time – about a month. If a person has received an infection from his partner, they must be both treated. It is necessary to observe the basic hygienic habits, do not touch your eyes with dirty hands, do not share towels, washcloths, or cosmetics.
In particular, such infections are very dangerous in newborns, because they can lead to blindness or lung infection.
Throughout the treatment period, a person is contagious and poses a threat to others; there is a relatively high risk that someone else may be infected, for example, a family member.