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What Causes Eye Infections?

March 18, 2024

What Causes Eye Infections?

There are five senses of the human body: touch, taste, hearing, sight, and smell. Whenever we experience impairment of these senses, it can feel scary. Of these ailments, eye infections are quite common.  

However, it can become less scary when we begin to understand the different types of eye infections. This is especially true when you know the proper course of action for treating them. Let’s take a deeper look at what causes them, and what can be done to treat them.

What Happens When I Have a Bacterial Eye Infection?

If you currently have an eye infection, you may be experiencing a plethora of symptoms. It should be noted that these symptoms may vary, depending on the severity of your ailment.

Here are some of the most common symptoms of an eye infection.

  • Blurriness
  • Burning
  • Discharge from Eye(s)
  • Dryness
  • Irritation
  • Itchiness
  • Loss of Vision
  • Swelling

While this may seem overwhelming, there are methods to properly remedy all of these symptoms. Unfortunately, some may require extended recovery time as well as further medical assistance.

For specific types of infections, you should avoid close contact with others as they can be highly contagious.

What is a Bacterial Eye Infection?

The most common types of eye infections are bacterial. Of these, the most widely known is conjunctivitis or pink eye. This pesky disease has caused havoc in school buildings and classrooms for decades. Thankfully, it can be resolved on its own and will go away with time. However, since it is so common, understanding what pink eye is and what can be done is very important.

Why is it Called “Pink Eye?”

To begin with, bacterial infections are called “pink eye” because the whites of the eye resemble a pink or red-like color. In more technical terms, the conjunctiva starts to become irritated and inflamed, which is what causes the intense bouts of itching and redness.

Luckily, most cases of pink eye will heal on their own within 7 to 14 days. In rare instances, severe cases of bacterial conjunctivitis may require a visit to the doctor. Most likely, the doctor will prescribe an antibiotic to fasten the healing process. You should see your symptoms start to lessen in 24 hours.

Preventive Measures Against Pink Eye

Now, what can be done to prevent pink eye? First of all, it should be made clear that pink eye is extremely contagious. Therefore, if you have conjunctivitis, do not share personal items, and avoid going to shared public spaces, such as swimming pools. If you do not have conjunctivitis, you can prevent infection by properly washing your hands with warm water for 20 seconds. Also, be sure to avoid touching your eyes with unwashed hands.

Additional Bacterial Infections

There are other types of bacterial eye infections as well. For example, a stye is also quite common. They are caused by tiny oil glands in the eyelids becoming either blocked or infected. This results in a red and painful bump near the eyelid. Most times, it may be confused for a pimple. Fortunately, styes are not contagious and will heal on their own within one week.

Are There Other Types of Eye Infections?

Yes, there are rare types of ailments called fungal eye infections. Primarily, they will occur after the eye is injured. While they are very uncommon, they can be dangerous and severe. These types of ailments should be treated by a doctor. In most cases, eye drops or medication will be prescribed. However, in very severe cases, surgery may need to be performed.

When To See A Doctor

If you are concerned about an eye infection, schedule an appointment with BASS Primary Care. Our team of in-house doctors are happy to treat you to the fullest of their abilities. If you can’t schedule an appointment, don’t worry! Walk-ins are always welcome. Give us a call at 925-962-9120.

At BASS Primary Care Walk-in Clinic, it's Your Health, Your Schedule.