Common Eye Infections (Pink Eye, Stye, Blepharitis, Foreign Body) – Greater Rhode Island

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About Eye Infections

Pain, itchiness, irritation, redness, swelling, or even temporary vision loss can be caused by several different common eye infections or other problems. Most eye infections are caused by a virus, fungus, or bacteria and are spread from person to person, typically because the individuals fail to wash their hands before touching their eyes. Some eye infections will heal on their own over time or with home remedies, but others are more serious and require medical treatment.

If you have any of these symptoms and believe you may have an eye infection, schedule a comprehensive exam with Koch Eye Associates. We have several convenient locations in Providence, Warwick, North Kingstown, Johnston, Woonsocket, and Wakefield, RI. We'll use our advanced diagnostic techniques for both common and rare eye infections and treat your infection to reestablish your good eye health and reduce any discomfort.

Common Eye Infections

These are a few of the very common types of eye infections and problems the experts at Koch Eye Associates see and treat quite frequently:

Foreign Body

Any object in your eye that shouldn’t be there is a foreign body. Common foreign bodies found in eyes include sand, cosmetics accumulation, wood chips, and pieces of glass, among other things. Foreign bodies in the eye are usually underneath the eyelid or floating or embedded on the surface. Often, individuals can flush out the body without any injury. However, many foreign bodies do cause injury that requires medical care. Some of these complications include corneal scratching or scarring, ulcers, and infection.

Stye

Styes are extremely common and are caused by bacteria entering the follicles or oil ducts of your eyelashes. A stye will present as a red bump at the base of the infected eyelash, and it can be either external or under your eyelid. Styes can be large or small, but the larger styes can be quite painful. Most of the time, styes can be treated at home; however, if they occur regularly, it is important to have an eye exam and a medical treatment plan.

Blepharitis

Blepharitis is most commonly caused by the presence of bacteria (staphylococcal blepharitis) on the eyelid. It is most frequently found in adults and causes the skin on the eyelids to be itchy, red, and dandruff-like. Individuals who have psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, or ocular rosacea have a higher potential for developing blepharitis, but it is usually not contagious. Our eye experts at Koch Eye Associates can treat blepharitis in many different ways, depending on its source.

Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis is generally the result of bacteria or a virus and is extremely contagious. More commonly known as pink eye, it is one of the most common eye infections. Pink eye presents as red, itchy eyes that sometimes produce a discharge, which can look crusty. It spreads very easily among children, but fortunately, it responds well to antibiotics.

Corneal Ulcers

Corneal ulcers are also often called abscesses. They are open sores that can develop when direct irritation to the cornea happens, such as a trauma or an eye infection. Corneal ulcers usually heal rapidly once they are treated by a professional. However, if they are not treated properly, it is possible that scarring or vision loss could occur.

Uveitis

Uveitis is an umbrella term referring to inflammation-related infections of the uvea (the middle layer of the eye) that can damage eye tissue and lead to vision loss. It could be due to a virus, bacteria, or a fungus and is sometimes associated with autoimmune disorders. The most distinct symptoms are extreme eye redness, pain, and abnormal light sensitivity. Treatment for uveitis depends on its cause and can include antibiotics, corticosteroids, and dilating eye drops.

Symptoms

The symptoms of these common eye infections can be mild or serious. You may experience redness, swelling, watering, itching, or burning eyes, or your eyes may have a discharge that dries and becomes crusty. You may also develop bumps or cysts on your eyelid. If you develop one of these eye conditions, it is natural that you might feel worried. Fortunately, most of them are minor and can be treated very easily with no lasting problems. However, without treatment, some could potentially lead to blurred vision or vision loss.

Causes

Most of these eye infections are the result of bacteria, fungus, or a virus entering the eye. They are almost always spread by people touching their eyes without washing their hands first. Infections are also quite common in people who wear contacts, share eye cosmetics, or don’t sanitize their cosmetics applicators. It is extremely important to wash your hands before inserting contact lenses and to throw away any eye cosmetics you have used while experiencing an eye infection. The best defense against foreign bodies in the eye and any resulting infection is to wear protective eyewear when necessary.

Treatment Options

To determine the best treatment for your eye condition, we will need to see you for a comprehensive eye examination. An experienced member of our team can accurately diagnose your specific problem and its cause, and your treatment will be based on that information. The treatments for these conditions can include antibiotics, corticosteroid shots or eye drops, other prescription eye drops, or possibly laser treatment or minor surgery. If our experts believe your best option is laser treatment or minimally invasive surgery, you’ll be scheduled for an evaluation with a laser or surgical specialist. Koch Eye Associates facilities throughout Rhode Island are equipped with the technology and experts necessary to provide the care you need.

Relief At Last

If you have an infection or foreign body in your eye, it is important that you contact Koch Eye Associates to schedule a thorough examination. Often, eye infections are minor and only temporarily painful or irritating, but sometimes the results can be much more serious. Using state-of-the-art techniques and technology, the experts at the Koch Eye Associates facilities in Rhode Island can provide long-term relief.

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