What is a Corneal Infection?

The cornea is the eye’s outermost layer. It is the clear, dome-shaped surface that covers the front of the eye. The normal healthy cornea is generally very resilient to infection. Sometimes, the cornea damages when an infected object passes through the intact healthy tissue, like for example a poke in the eye. Whereas in other instances, bacteria or fungi from an unclean contact lens can pass into the cornea.

When you fall under situations like these it can cause inflammation and corneal infections called keratitis. Infections like these can decrease visual clarity. In worst cases it can even erode the cornea. Corneal infections when heal, can result in corneal scarring, which can impair vision and may require a corneal transplant. With proper and timely diagnosis regarding the exact causing agent of the infection, we  can cure the infection with appropriate drops and prevent potential damage and vision loss.

Symptoms

The common symptoms  one faces during cornea infection/ keratitis :

  • Blurred or hazy vision
  • Eye that appears red or bloodshot
  • Itching and discharge
  • Sensitivity to light (photophobia)
  • Very painful and watery eyes
  • White patch on the cornea

Prevention

Most of the corneal infections are caused due to contact lens. However, to avoid such situations, you can take some simple preventive measures while wearing contact lenses. They are:

  • Wash your hands, before using contact lens
  • Avoid wearing contact lensesfor a long time
  • Change the type of contact lens frequently

Treatment

The treatment for the corneal infections depends upon the severity of the infection. When the infection is at a minor level, then an anti-infective eye drops, eye ointment or antibiotic eye drops prescribed by an eye surgeon is enough.In severe cases, patients with severe corneal infections are admitted to hospital and samples from the infection are taken to identify the likely cause.

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