Commonly called “pink eye,” eye infections can be caused by either bacteria or viruses.
Bacterial eye infections can be the result of overgrowth of normal skin bacteria or contamination of the eye from an external source. It is characterized by redness and a white or yellowish discharge that may build up along the eyelashes. With this condition, eyelids have a tendency to stick together and there is rarely any pain or discomfort. The condition is often contagious so the eyes must be kept clean while taking special care that towels and face cloths are separate from those that others may use. Most bacterial infections are treated with antibiotic drops. If contact lenses are worn, they must be discontinued during the healing stage.
Viral eye infections may be from direct infection of the eye from an outside source, or may be secondary to upper respiratory infections. Viral infections cause redness, tearing, and irritation. In some cases vision can be temporarily reduced. Medications are not effective to kill the virus, however medications can be used to shorten the course of the infection and decrease symptoms. A virus usually runs a 10-14 day course before resolution. They can be very contagious and extra caution should be exercised to prevent spread of the disease.
At Signature Eye Care, our eye doctors are skilled in making the proper eye infection diagnosis and prescribing the right medication and treatment so that your eye can properly heal from eye infections.