More than a million people in the United States suffer from some type of eye infection each year. Most of these infections can be prevented by following proper hygiene. Also, through correct identification, many can be treated at home.
We will help you identify and treat the 3 most common eye infections, which do not threaten your vision but can be extremely irritating and painful. As the saying goes, ‘Prevention is better than cure, don’t miss out on our bonus on how you can prevent eye infection completely.
How to Avoid Eye Infections
Conjunctivitis or pink eye is a very contagious infection that manifests itself in the form of inflammation of the outer layer of the white part of the eye and the inner part of the eyelid.
In almost 65% of cases, conjunctivitis heals without treatment in 2 to 5 days, and treatment is only intended to reduce itchy eyes.
- Allergic conjunctivitis: red or pink eyes, pain, itching
- Viral conjunctivitis: red eyes, periodic itching, increased tears
- Bacterial conjunctivitis: red or pink eyes, dry eyes and surrounding skin, eye discharge that may crust over during sleep.
Causes: allergens, viruses (mainly among adults), bacteria (mainly among children)
Use a compress: soak a soft towel in cold or warm water (depending on your preference) and wring it out. Apply on the eyes and let it rest until the itchiness disappears. Use separate towels for each eye and use a new towel each time.
Use honey: mix honey and water in equal parts and stir well. Soak cotton balls and apply on the eyes. Do this 2 to 3 times a day until the symptoms disappear.
A stye is a red pimple-like bump that forms on the eyelid (upper and lower). It occurs due to infection of the sebaceous glands present in the eyelids. It is very painful, but it usually resolves in a few days or at most a few weeks without any treatment.
Symptoms: red pimple-like eyelid inflammation, eyelid swelling, eye irritation, sensitivity to light, blurred vision
Causes: Bacterial infection of the Meibomian gland or Zeis gland
Use a hot compress: moisten a soft towel with warm water, wring it out so it does not drip. Place it over the eye with a sty. Let is stay for 10-15 minutes. Repeat it several times in a day.
Use black tea bag: Place a black tea bag over the eye with the sty, but remember not to use hot or warm tea bags. Let stand 5-10 minutes.
Blepharitis is a non-contagious inflammation of the eyelid. Although blepharitis is not a threat to vision loss, in some cases it can cause permanent changes to the eyelid margin.
Symptoms: swollen eyelids, red eyes, adhesion of the eyelids, dandruff flakes on the eyelids, sensitivity to light.
Causes: bacterial infection. Skin problems like dandruff or rosacea can increase the risk of infection.
Warm compress: Soak a towel in warm water, wring it out to drain excess water. Apply to the eye and leave for 5-10 minutes. After removing it, use a wet cotton ball to remove the dandruff-like scab from the eyelid. Repeat several times a day.
Use tea bags: apply hot black tea bags on the eyelid. Hold the eyelid and discard the tea bag.
Eat foods with healthy fats: Foods like avocado, nuts, seeds, coconut oil, and olive oil can decrease inflammation and help the skin heal.
How To Prevent Eye Infections From Happening And Spreading
Maintain proper hygiene: Wash your hands well before touching your eyes. You can also use hand sanitizers to keep your hands clean.
- Do not use contaminated or dirty water to wash your eyes.
- Never share towels, pillows, scarves, etc.
- Keep your eye care kit clean and replace it every six months to prevent germs from settling on it.
- Never share your eye care kit with anyone.
- Keep your glasses and contact lenses clean and never share your cleanser.
- If your eyes become infected, do not wear makeup and avoid wearing contact lenses.
Which of these three infections did you get? Were they annoying? We sincerely hope that our tips will help you quickly identify the infection and take steps to lessen the irritation and cure it.