The eyes have a wonderful ability to heal themselves from mild irritation, and you’ve most likely experienced at least some degree of redness or teariness from allergies at some point in your life. While you may know that you can wait out the common cold or let an antibiotic ointment heal a small infection on your skin, people tend to get a little confused about the proper methods for eye care. While it is true that some eye infections will heal themselves, others can lead to serious vision loss. Looking at the different types of eye infections helps you know when you need to visit a Brooklyn retina doctor rather than just apply a cold compress.
What Are the Common Types of Eye Infections?
Many different types of bacteria, viruses, and fungi can invade the eye, but you’ll find those eye infections typically fall within these common categories.
Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)
Pink eye is often associated with early childhood, but you can get this condition at any age. Pink eye gets its name from the redness that you’ll see in the whites of your eye. You might also notice eye gunk from weeping that can cause your eyes to stick together.
Styes usually affect the outside of your eyelid near the base of your eyelashes, but they can also occur on the internal part. Simple styes often respond well to home care, but you might need to seek treatment for large ones or those that stick around too long.
This is one of the more serious infections you can develop in your eye, and it sometimes follows cataract surgery. Prompt treatment is necessary to prevent this condition from leading to blindness.
Uveitis is an infection that occurs on the middle layer of your eye, which contains the iris. It accounts for about 10 to 15% of all cases of blindness in the United States, but it responds well to prompt treatment.
What Are Serious Symptoms?
If you’ve encountered a stye before, then you might be able to manage it with at-home care. Pink eye can be a little trickier since a variety of different pathogens can cause it. As a general rule, you’ll want to reach out to an eye specialist anytime you experience severe pain, swelling, or redness in your eye. You’ll also want to seek care if your symptoms last for more than a week or two despite your efforts at self-care.
How Can an Eye Doctor Help?
Brooklyn, NY ophthalmology clinics are outfitted with state-of-the-art technology that can help your doctor make a fast and accurate diagnosis. Once they know what is causing the infection, they may prescribe eye drops, oral antibiotics, or injections that deliver medicine straight to the eye. Visiting an eye doctor for your infection helps you to ease your symptoms faster and potentially stop the disease from leading to blindness.
Dealing with an eye infection is stressful, and even a mild infection can turn serious in the blink of an eye. Your vision is too important to take risks with. If you have signs of an infection, make sure to schedule an appointment as soon as possible so that you can start feeling better faster.