Eye infections: Symptoms, types and how to avoid them?

Fungal eye infections leave over half a million population around the world blind in one eye every year. Corneal infections are devastating to your eye health especially when they are triggered by fungal keratitis.

Fortunately, these infections can be prevented and even treated using some simple tips. That’s what we are here to discuss.

Types of eye infections

Eye infections have three types – fungal, bacterial and viral. Conjunctivitis is the most common type of infection that occurs due to bacteria or viruses or an allergic reaction. Keratitis is also known as the inflammation of the cornea and is more prevalent in people wearing contact lenses.

Fungal eye infections are less common but more severe. They are mostly contracted through eye injuries. A stye is another type of bacterial reaction in the tiny oil glands of your eyes.

Sometimes, these infections could be hinting at an underlying cause of a corneal ulcer. However, it’s hard to tell the difference which is why you need an expert’s advice. Have an eye test and know the exact cause behind the infection. You may use your NHS voucher to get a free eye test in the UK.

Symptoms of eye infections

It’s important that you visit an eye care professional upon suspecting symptoms of ocular infection. Different types of infections will trigger different parts of your eye thus showing up with different symptoms. However, the most common ones are mentioned below:

  • Eye pain
  • Watery eyes
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Gritty eyes
  • Redness of eye
  • Blurry vision
  • Dryness
  • Swelling
  • Irritation

It’s important that you don’t self-diagnose the problem and seek a professional opinion instead. See an optician or an eye doctor to know the type of infection you have contracted and how it can be treated.

If you are a contact lenses wearer, your eye doctor will suggest you don’t wear your contacts as long as the infection lasts. He will give you a prescription so you can buy prescription glasses online or from the optical shop near you.

Tips to avoid eye infections

Healthy habits are the key to overall good health. If you want to avoid the inconvenience and pain of infection, these tips could help.

  • Make sure your hands are clean so you don’t transfer germs to your eyes when you touch them. Wash your hands with soap and water. When outside, use a hand sanitiser your wipe your hands of germs.
  • Avoid touching your eyes often. Even when your eyes feel itchy or tired, try to wash them and not rub them to relax the ocular muscles.
  • Do not share your skincare cosmetics or makeup, especially the ones that you use on your eyes such as eyeliner, eyeshadow, under-eye cream and mascara etc. Also, get rid of all the cosmetics that you used when your eyes were infected. This will bring down the risk of recurring eye infections.
  • Make sure you wipe off your eye makeup before sleeping. When you don’t do this, you become vulnerable to infections such as blepharitis which cause blurry vision and redness in your eyes.
  • If you wear glasses, clean them properly every day so that the germs on the lenses don’t travel to your eyes. Use the lens solution and the microfiber cloth to clean the lenses. You generally get these essentials when you order glasses online but you can also get them at your nearby optical stores.
  • If your eyes are already infected, avoid wearing contacts as it can spread the infection to other parts of your eyes as well. Wear glasses instead as they don’t touch your eyes and there is no such risk of infection with them.
  • Do not ever sleep in your contacts.

Does wearing glasses help?

When your eyes get infected, your doctor may recommend the use of glasses with dark lenses. The main reason behind this is that the infected eye becomes sensitive to light. Thus, wearing dark glasses will help in reducing the amount of light that reaches your eye and preventing the spread of infection.

If you want these glasses urgently, just know that some online companies give fast delivery on glasses where you can get them within 24 hours. If you need glasses with prescription lenses, you can also get them in no time.

Eye infections are uncomfortable and awful. It’s better to avoid them at all cost. Using these easy tips will help you along the way. And if you suspect even the slightest possibility of infection, visit an eye care professional and seek help.

Evie Nasir

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