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Eye infections can be painful and some can even be dangerous. Bacteria, viruses, and fungi can all cause eye infections, and allergies can make eyes more susceptible to infection as well as sharing some of the symptoms. Our eye doctor in Culpeper, VA can help if you think you have an eye infection.
Eye infections usually have viral or bacterial origins. Some of the common infections, such as conjunctivitis, may be caused by either. Conjunctivitis is also known as pink eye, and it is usually caused by easily spread contagions. Children frequently get conjunctivitis at daycare or school and may spread it to adults in their lives.
Viral eye infections include those caused by the relatively rare herpes simplex virus in addition to common types that cause conjunctivitis. Fungal and parasitic infections are possible but much rarer than viral and bacterial infections. Allergic conjunctivitis can occur in response to environmental allergens or eye makeup and shares many of the symptoms of viral or bacterial conjunctivitis.
Contact lens wearers are at slightly higher risk of eye infections. If you wear contacts, be sure to follow the safety instructions. People who think they may have an eye infection should wear glasses instead of contacts until they can see their optometrist.
If you think you have any symptoms of an eye infection, you should see your optometrist. Some of the most common symptoms of eye infection or allergic conjunctivitis include:
Eye Care of Virginia, your eye doctor near Culpeper, can diagnose and treat your eye infection. Diagnosis usually involves performing a visual exam and taking a history from you. If the eye doctor believes it is necessary, he may take a sample of culture. This can tell him if the infection is bacterial and which type of bacteria is responsible for the infection. The cause and severity of the infection will guide treatment.
Bacterial eye infections are often treated with antibiotics. These may be oral systemic drugs, eye drops, or ointments. Treatment such as cold compresses may be suggested by our eye doctor near Culpeper to relieve discomfort while the antibiotics are taking effect. Supportive treatment such as artificial tears and compresses may be used for both bacterial and viral infections.
Viral eye infections usually clear up on their own, but in certain cases, antiviral drugs may be used. Serious viral infections may require supportive treatment, such as steroids to reduce swelling until they resolve. Severe allergic reactions may also be treated with steroids. Fungal and parasitic infections are both rare, but drugs exist to treat both of them.
Eye problems are always something to be taken seriously, so if you have any symptoms of an eye infection, call your optometrist right away. Eye Care of Virginia, your eye doctor in Culpeper VA, can diagnose, manage and treat your infection. Call us today at (540) 825-3937 or use the appointment form on our website to make an appointment at either our Culpeper or King George location.