“Human eye is a complex organ made up of different parts: iris, cornea, retina, macula, conjunctiva, lens, vitreous humor, optic nerve, and extraocular muscles. Its size is about 18 millimeters in newborn, and 1 inch in adults. A healthy eye has ability to refract light to form an image on the retina and convert it into nerve impulses (also known as spikes). Those nerve impulses are then transmitted by the optic nerve to the brain where they are interpreted. As each eye receives image slightly different, the brain compares visual information (color, size, shape, vertical/horizontal orientation, movement, etc.) from each eye to form an appropriate image.
To accomplish these vital roles, your eyes are perfectly protected by the skull, eyelids and tears. The skull and the eyelids protect the surface of the eye from dust and aggressions of foreign bodies that can damage it. The tears, which most people neglect, contain a natural antibiotic that not only clean the eye, but also protect it against infections. Without this constant protection, it would be impossible for you to have a healthy vision. However, in spite of protection and precaution, your eye can still be affected by various injuries, infections, and possibly vision loss. One of the most common medical conditions affected human eyes is infection:
Eye Infection Causes and Risk Factrors
Eye Infections are eye ailments caused by bacteria, fungi, or viruses. There are many different types of eye infections, and they can affect just one eye or both; they can occur in different parts of your eye. The most common include:
Congenital eye disorders – they are due to genetic changes in the development of your eye or a disease contracted in the uterus of your mother.
Inflammatory eye disorders – those conditions can affect the external eye (conjunctivitis, episcleritis) or internal layers (uveitis, choroiditis). Some of them include:
Glaucoma – this is a group of disease of the eye damaging the optic nerve and causing progressive visual loss. The disease is most often due to intraocular pressure causing by high volume of fluid pressure inside your eye. Glaucoma is characterized by loss of visual field due to the destruction of the fibers of the optic nerve. In this condition, the aqueous humor that fills your eye is continuously secreted by the ciliary body located around the lens. The liquid then goes through the pupil to the anterior chamber of your eye involving loss of retinal ganglion cells.
Vascular Eye Disorders, also called ophthalmic artery disorders, are a group of serious eye diseases. They affect mainly the vasculature of the retina or the optic nerve. Some of the serious medical conditions that ophthalmic artery disorders can cause include: retinal artery occlusion, a blockage of the central retinal artery characterized by loss of vision; Central Retinal Vein Occlusion, a retinal vascular disorder characterized by a closure of the central retinal vein. Usually, this disorder occurs in people 50 years old or older.
Degenerative Eye Disease – this group of visual conditions are linked to hereditary factors (tapetoretinal degeneration) or aging of the eye (Senile cataract)
Oculomotricity disorders – these disorders are characterized by a paralysis of the oculomotor nerve. The most 3 common diseases of this group are: ptosis, drooping of the upper eyelid; ophthalmoplegia, paralysis of one or more of the muscles controlling eye movements; and paralytic squint , an abnormality in the extra-ocular muscles causing a misalignment of the two eyes.
Foreign bodies – those are the most common cause of eye injuries. Tiny fragments of metal inside your eye can lead to serious medical conditions when they may penetrate your eye. Any tiny object can cause serious injuries if there is no prompt medical intervention. As there is a foreign body in your eye, symptoms of redness, tearing, blurred vision (in the affected eye), and intense pain may develop. There are three places where a foreign body can usually hide: on the cornea, under the lid, or inside of the eye.
If you suspect having particles of dust in your eyes, wash your them immediately with appropriate products or clean water. Rinse your eyes gently until the harmful substances come out. If after many attempts, you are unable to clean your eye, cover it without exerting pressure and consult a heath care provider immediately. If this is your child, do not let her/him rub the affected eye; the pressure could damage the cornea.
Chemical Injury – The eyes may be affected by acidic chemical (mostly found in car, silicone production, glass polishing, gasoline alkylation, etc.), pesticides (antiseptics, germicides, sanitizers, sterilizers), or by Chemical lime (also called burnt lime, lime or quicklime) in more serious case. To prevent complication, if you affected by one of those chemicals it is vital that you wash your eyes immediately with plenty of clean water. Another treatment is to apply some antibiotic cream or add two drops of amethocaine (1%) in the eye to relieve the spasm of the eyelid. Those alternatives are to reduce immediate effects of the drugs. The full care must be given by a health care professional.
Eye Infection Symptoms
Common Eye Infection symptoms include:
Partial vision loss
Sensation of sand in your eye
flashes of light in 1 or both eyes
Painful lump in the eyelid
Pimple on the edge of your eyelid
Eye Infection Treatment
Diagnosis and treatment of eye infections depend on the type infection and the severity of the symptoms. Your eye is a precious organ; do not take any risk adding anything in it without advice of a health care provider.
|Symptoms and Signs
Conjunctivitis – infectious. NHS Library for health. Clinical Knowledge Summaries.
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Pokhrel PK, Loftus SA. Ocular emergencies. Am Fam Physician. 2007;76:829-836.