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Common Eye Infections near Chicago, IL

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What Are Common Eye Infections?

The majority of eye infections are spread from other people who have also been exposed. This is because they are transferred from one individual to the next when the unlucky recipient scratches their eyes before cleaning their hands. Eye infections might be brought on by bacteria, a virus, or a fungus and are frequently highly communicable. Patients with eye infections tend to endure aching, swelling, a "foreign body" sensation, and/or itchiness in their eyes. Quite a few can be resolved with nonprescription remedies and many will heal without intervention, but some eye infections can be very critical and need to be treated by an experienced eye doctor. If you think you or your family member has contracted an eye infection, reach out to us for an appointment with the team at Kirk Eye Center with locations in River Forest and Gurnee, IL.

What Are the Different Types of Eye Infections?

If you believe that you or your child might be suffering from one of the following eye infections, it's best to set up an evaluation at Kirk Eye Center as soon as possible. The most important aspect of healing an eye infection is proper diagnosis early on.

  • Blepharitis
    Though generally occurring in adults, blepharitis can develop in patients at any age. Blepharitis is almost always caused by bacteria; however, it will sometimes also stem from dry eye syndrome or fungal infection. Its most common symptom is eye discharge that creates a flaky film along the eyelids. Those who have blepharitis might also suffer from watery, irritated, or stinging eyes. Those with psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, or ocular rosacea have a heightened potential for developing this infection.
  • Pink Eye
    Also called pink eye, conjunctivitis is possibly the most prevalent eye infection. It is almost always the result of bacteria or a virus and is very contagious. The major symptoms of pink eye are red, itchy eyes with whitish discharge. In cases where conjunctivitis is the result of bacteria, antibiotics can eliminate the infection.
  • Corneal Ulcers
    Occasionally known as corneal ulcers, eye abscesses are, in fact, open wounds of the cornea. They can develop due to an accident, or if bacteria or a foreign object irritates the cornea. It is important that patients receive treatment as soon as possible to prevent corneal scarring, which can lead to partial blindness.
  • Styes and Chalazia
    A stye develops if bacteria finds its way into any one of your eyelash follicles. Then, a red bulge typically forms, externally or internally, close to the lash line. Styes may be little or big and can cause greater or lesser levels of pain, depending on size and location. A chalazion, however, is a congested or inflamed eyelid oil gland; consequently, they generally won't show up at the lash line. Chalazia typically increase in size relatively slowly but can eventually become the size of a small pebble.
  • Uveitis
    Anytime someone develops an infection in the uvea (the central layer of the eye wall), it is referred to as uveitis. Uveitis is frequently connected to autoimmune disorders; however, it can also be the result of a viral, fungal, or bacterial infection. It can destroy eye tissue and lead to visual impairment. It is very easy to recognize due to excessive eye redness, sensitivity to light, and eye pain.

What Are the Symptoms of Eye Infections?

Even though eye infections are very common and readily treatable, the slightest infection can result in a lot of pain. Those with eye infections can have symptoms that might be slight to extreme and can include itching, burning, watering eyes, inflamed eyelids, and greenish discharge. Some types of infections, for example, styes, can form a bump on the eyelid. While loss of vision is not a concern with the most common kinds of infections, blurry vision can result in major infections. Therefore, it is crucial to seek medical help from an eye care professional if you have persistent symptoms.

What Are the Causes of Eye Infections?

Almost all common eye infections are triggered by bacteria, a virus, or a fungus. Eye infections are usually spread and caught by patients who come into contact with one of these pathogens and then rub their eyes after neglecting to clean their hands. Some people may develop certain eye infections more frequently if they wear contact lenses. Therefore, it is essential to thoroughly wash your hands before inserting or taking out your contacts, and avoid sharing cosmetics.

How Are Eye Infections Diagnosed?

Arrange an eye exam at Kirk Eye Center if you notice the signs of an eye infection. Your doctor will talk to you about your symptoms and assess your eye. You may need other tests to establish the kind of infection you have contracted, which may involve extracting a very little sample of the infected area. This process is extremely fast, and the area will be fully numbed with eye drops.

How Are Eye Infections Treated?

After performing a careful eye examination, we should be able to tell you the most effective protocol to get rid of your eye infection. The treatment plan will vary according to the kind of infection you have. If your infection is bacterial, we might prescribe oral or eye-drop form antibiotics. If there is severe inflammation, we may prescribe eye drops, or perhaps injections of cortisone or a steroid.

Eye Infection FAQ

Could blepharitis lead to severe issues?
While it can be uncomfortable and unsightly, blepharitis is not usually dangerous. However, in rare cases, it can lead to more serious conditions, such as an infection of the cornea (keratitis) or eyelid styes. Chronic blepharitis can also lead to cosmetic problems such as loss of eyelashes or abnormal eyelash growth. It's important to manage the condition to prevent any potential complications.

Can pink eye be prevented?
Yes, there are steps you can take to reduce the risk of getting or spreading pink eye. Regular hand washing can play a crucial role in preventing transmission. Avoid sharing items like cosmetics, face towels, and pillowcases, and try not to touch your eyes with your hands. If you have conjunctivitis, avoid going to work or school until you're no longer contagious if it's caused by a viral or bacterial infection.

How is a corneal ulcer treated?
Treatment for a corneal ulcer depends on its cause. If it is caused by a bacterial infection, your Kirk Eye Center practitioner will likely prescribe antibiotic eye drops. If it's due to a viral infection, antiviral drops may be used. If it's a fungal infection, antifungal medication would be prescribed. In severe cases, hospital treatment may be required, and in some instances, a corneal transplant may be necessary.

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Relief For Eye Infections

While eye infections are mostly minor, they can sometimes be very dangerous, and it can be impossible to recognize which type you have on your own. If you do contract an eye infection, we recommend visiting Kirk Eye Center in River Forest or Gurnee, IL. Our team of eye professionals is comprehensively trained and extensively experienced in diagnosing and alleviating eye infections.

*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.