Every year, around a million Americans develop an eye infection. If you have red, itchy eyes that are producing discharge, contact Todd Bragin, MD. At his ophthalmology practice in Lynbrook, New York, Dr. Bragin diagnoses and treats eye infections such as pink eye, restoring your eye health and protecting your vision. Don’t put your sight at risk, call Dr. Bragin, or schedule a consultation online today.
Although there is a wide range of eye infections, the two most common types are conjunctivitis, which is often referred to as pink eye, and contact lens-related infections.
Conjunctivitis is an extremely contagious eye infection that affects your conjunctiva — the transparent membrane that covers the white part of your eye and the inside of your eyelids. A virus or bacteria usually cause pink eye. Because of the highly contagious nature of pink eye, it can spread through classrooms and public spaces quickly where you might touch the same surface as someone who has conjunctivitis and then absentmindedly rub your eye.
If you wear contact lenses, you touch your eyes at least twice a day to place and remove your contacts. If you don’t wash your hands thoroughly before touching your eyes, you risk introducing bacteria, parasites, and viruses into your eyes. For example, fungal keratitis and Acanthamoeba keratitis are common in patients who wear contact lenses.
Eye infections cause a variety of uncomfortable and disruptive symptoms, including:
If you have an eye infection, you might wake up with crust around your eyelids or in your eyelashes.
You should make an appointment with Dr. Bragin if you have any symptoms of an eye infection. If left untreated, eye infections can cause complications, including growths such as a stye or chalazion, or the infection could spread into your tear ducts and cause painful inflammatory conditions like uveitis.
In severe cases, an eye infection can spread into the surrounding tissue and cause orbital cellulitis.
Dr. Bragin begins treatment with a comprehensive eye exam to identify the specific type of eye infection. In most cases, he treats eye infections with medicated eye drops to fight off the infection. If your infection is viral, he may prescribe steroid eye drops to reduce inflammation.
You can reduce your risk of getting an eye infection by avoiding touching your eyes, and if you have to touch your eyes, make sure to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water first.
Call Dr. Bragin, or make an appointment online today if you’re concerned about an eye infection.