What are the symptoms of an eye infection?

Eye infections are mostly external, concerning the eyelids and conjunctiva and cornea, but they can also be internal, affecting deeper ocular structures. They range from being mildly irritating to immensely painful and threatening your sight. Always consult your doctor, pharmacist or eye care professional if you are worried about an eye infection that is painful or affects your vision as prompt treatment is important in serious cases. 

Depending on the location of the infection in the eye, symptoms vary, but can include:

• Redness
• Discharge (watery or purulent)
• Photophobia (sensitivity to light)
• Discomfort or pain
• Vision may be normal or blurred
• Swollen eyelids

What causes infected eyes?

The eye can be attacked by viruses, bacteria, parasites and fungi, leading to eye infections. Bacterial infections are the most common and a sticky, pink eye is the classic presentation – infective conjunctivitis.

How are eye infections treated?

Treatment will depend on whether the infection relates to bacteria, virus or fungi. Viral and fungal eye infections can require specific prescribed medicines under the care of an ophthalmologist but most cases of bacterial conjunctivitis do not require medical treatment, and will clear up in one to two weeks. Keeping the eyelid area clean and free of discharge can be useful in all cases.

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