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Eye Infection: Treatment, Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

Last Updated: Sep 25, 2023

What is the treatment?

An eye infection can show itself up in many different ways which depends mainly on the part of the eye where the infection has taken place. There are different kinds of eye infections- pink eye or conjunctivitis, Keratitis, Stye, fungal eye infections, Uveitis. Conjunctivitis is the infection of conjunctiva. It can be caused by bacteria or virus and also from allergic reactions. Viral conjunctivitis usually resolves on its own and does not require any specific treatment. Allergic conjunctivitis can be managed by pouring cool water over face. Bacterial conjunctivitis too resolves without treatment. Antibiotics may be needed. Conjunctivitis due to chemicals is treated with the help of irrigation with Ringer’s lactate or saline solution. Keratitis is a condition in which the eye’s cornea becomes inflamed. Treatment depends on the cause of keratitis. A stye is also known as hordeolum which is a bacterial infection of an oil land in the eye lid. Most cases resolve on their own without eye care. Can also be treated with warm compresses. Uveitis is the inflammation of uvea which is typically treated with glucocorticoid steroids either as topical eye drops or as oral therapy. Antimetabolite medications are often used.

How is the treatment done?

Conjunctivitis resolves in 65% cases without the need of any treatment. Viral conjunctivitis does not need any specific treatment but Antihistamines like diphenhydramine or mast cell stabilizers like cromolyn may be used to help the patients with the symptoms. For the allergic type, the mild cases can be resolved by pouring cool water over the face with the head inclined downward which constricts capillaries and artificial tears sometimes relieve discomfort of the patients. Persistent allergic conjunctivitis can be treated with topical steroid drops. For bacterial infections topical antibiotic may be needed if no improvement is seen after three days but it usually resolves without treatment. Conjunctivitis due to chemicals is treated via irrigation with Ringer’s lactate or saline solution. Chemical injuries are medical emergencies as they can give rise to severe scarring and intraocular damage. This condition has the risk of spreading to another eye. There are various causes which lead to keratitis of the eye. Infectious keratitis progress rapidly and requires urgent treatment like antibacterial, antifungal or antiviral therapy to eliminate the pathogen. Antibacterial solutions include levofloxacin, gatifloxacin, moxifloxacin, ofloxacin. Acyclovir is the main treatment for HSV keratitis and in this condition steroids should be avoided because it can worsen the condition of the patient. Primary treatment for stye is application of warm compresses. People can cleanse the affected eye lid with a mild non irritating soap or shampoo to clean the crusted discharge on the lid. Pain relievers such as acetaminophen may be used. Antibiotics are occasionally prescribed. They are generally given to people with multiple styes or styes that do not seem to heal. Surgery is the last treatment is styes do not respond to other treatment methods.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

Any person noticing problems like pain or discomfort in eyes, itchy eyes, burning sensation, irritation, painful lump under eyelids, swollen, red or purple eyelids, pink colour in the white area of the eyes, crusty eye lashes and lids should go for a check up as leaving untreated in many cases can give rise to worse conditions. People with recurring eye problems and people having eye problems along with chronic conditions like diabetes should visit a doctor.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

As there are some side effects people who is suffering from any other disease or are under some medications should consult doctors before application of any drugs.


Are there any side effects?

There are some side effects of medications which include steroids and antibiotic ointments and drops. Side effects include redness, irritation, burning sensation, nausea, stinging, fatigue and mild itching.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

There are no such after treatment guidelines. But to prevent spreading of eye disease some measures can be taken such as hand washing, avoiding sharing of towels, pillow cases, wash clothes and make up.

How long does it take to recover?

Different types of infections require different recovery periods. Conjunctivitis generally does not need any treatment and can get resolved within a week. But in case of severe conditions it may require time. Stye can get cured in few days or weeks. Keratitis are caused by various agents and recovery time will depend on the cause and severity of the disease.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

Cost of eye treatment is not much if the cases are not severe. Conjunctivitis generally do not require any treatment. If even treatment is required, it can be done at affordable cost.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

The result of the treatment of eye disease is usually permanent. There have been cases where some eye infections gave rise to irreversible blindness if left untreated. But recurrence of eye infections after correct treatment is rare or almost absent.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

There are some natural methods of treatment. Like for example, boric acid which is a weak and water soluble acid serves as an antifungal, antiseptic eyewash. It is better not to use this method if any one is allergic to it. Flaxseed rich in omega-3 fatty acids stimulate immune system to fight against infections. It also reduces inflammation and pain of the eye. Tea bags can soothe the eye and reduce redness and swelling. Typically, black tea is used for this treatment but green tea or white tea can be used as well. Honey possess antibacterial properties and is helpful to kill harmful bacteria in the eye. Jasmine flower with boiled or distilled water reduce inflammation, redness and irritation of the eyes.


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Content Details
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Written ByDr. Anurag Agarwal MS - Ophthalmology,MBBSOphthalmology
Reviewed By
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Reviewed ByDr. Bhupindera Jaswant SinghMD - Consultant PhysicianGeneral Physician
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