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If your eyes turn red, swell up, and cause other kinds of irritation without having them injured, there's a good chance you've contracted some sort of eye infection. Bacteria, viruses, and other infectious agents can cause a variety of problems, including possible corneal damage that leaves you with lasting vision loss. Fortunately, here at Andrew Stone Optometry, our Columbia optometrist know how to fight the germs and other unwanted "guests" that cause eye infections.
There are many kinds of eye infections, which are typically referred to in relation to the affected part of the eye. Conjunctivitis, better known as "pink eye," earns its nickname by causing the white of the eye to turn pink or red; it also causes discharge, light sensitivity, itching, and swollen eyelids. Blepharitis is another condition in which the eyelids can swell or become uncomfortable. It's also possible to have keratitis (corneal infection), chorioretinitis (retinal infection), or other kinds of infections. Eye infections are principally caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi (such as seasonal molds), or parasites.
Infections can be spread to the eyes via other parts of the body. Children with colds who rub their eyes, for instance, commonly give themselves bacterial conjunctivitis. Viral infections, including sexually-transmitted viruses, can also be transferred in this manner. Other infections depend more on purely environmental factors. People with hay fever, for instance, commonly suffer from conjunctivitis. Parasitic infections may occur due to contact with unclean water.
Red, swollen eyes plagued by infections need prompt attention. Getting the cause of the infection under control not only soothes your symptoms, but it can also prevent complications from damaging the eye structures. Our Columbia, MO optometrist, Dr. Stone, will evaluate your symptoms, discuss any recent circumstances that may have facilitated the infection, and (if necessary) take samples of eye discharge to isolate the germs in question. Once we understand the true nature of your eye infection, we can take effective steps to treat it. Treatment options may include:
Once your infection is resolved, we can advise you on best practices to avoid future infections. Prevention is always the best medicine!
An eye infection can be a truly miserable experience, but help is at hand. Turn your irritated, bloodshot eyes toward Andrew Stone Optometry for prompt, professional, soothing care. Call 573-445-7750 to schedule an evaluation and any necessary treatment at our Columbia, MO clinic!
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