Your eyes are one of the most significant of all the sense organs since it allows you to see things around you. It is essential to take good care of your eyes. But, many lack an awareness on ocular care. Read on to know a few lifestyle habits that will help in maintaining a good ocular hygiene thus ensuring normal vision.
Ensure your ocular hygiene with these healthy lifestyle habits
Most of these tips may sound simple, but they are highly effective and can help avoid eye problems completely. And don’t forget to get your routine eye check-up done as well. All that is required is to incorporate these basic lifestyle changes to protect the amazing part of your body, your eyes. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an Ophthalmologist.
Symptoms of zika virus infection
An eye infection can occur due to microorganisms which are harmful to eyes including fungi, bacteria, and viruses. An eye infection can appear in many ways. It depends on which part of your eye is infected. You may experience a problem in your eyelid, conjunctiva, and cornea. The clear front surface of your eye is cornea. Conjunctiva is the thin, moist area that covers the outer layer of the eye and inside of the eyelids. You may have an infection in one eye or both the eyes. The two known eye infections are conjunctivitis and stye. The problem of conjunctivitis is also known as pink eye. It is a highly contagious disease. Stye is a bump on the eyelid that looks similar to a pimple or a boil. The various common symptoms of eye infection are redness, swelling, itching, pain, discharge, watery eyes, dry eyes, or loss of vision. You should reach out to the best doctor as soon as you experience the symptoms of an eye infection. Sometimes, a delay and ineffective treatment can harm your eyesight. Your doctor will provide you with a treatment on the basis of the exact cause of your infection. He or she may prescribe you eye drops, compresses, antibiotics, or creams.
A person may experience a problem in one or both eyes. Check out various symptoms or signs of an eye infection:
- You may experience a pain or discomfort in your eye.
- There can be itching in your eyes due to an eye infection.
- You may have a burning sensation in your eyes.
- You may complain of watery or dry eyes.
- You may experience swelling around your eyes.
- Your eyes may become sensitive to the light as they may hurt when there is a bright lighting.
- You may get a small lump that is painful at the base of your eyelashes or under your eyelid.
- You may feel like there is something inside your eye even when there is nothing.
- You may have irritation in your eyes.
- There can be a discharge in your eye.
- Due to an eye infection, you may have blurred vision.
- The colour of your eye may turn red.
- You may experience pain when you touch your infected eye.
Check out various possible causes of eye infection:
- Conjunctivitis or pink eye is a highly contagious disease that can transmit easily from one person to another. Daycare workers and teachers are at great risk of conjunctivitis as they work closely with children. This problem generally spread in classrooms, daycare centres, and other similar environments.
- The other viral infections besides conjunctivitis including ocular herpes occur due to an exposure to the Herpes simplex virus.
- Fungal keratitis is a fungal infection of the eye and this infection is associated with Fusarium fungi found in organic matter. It can enter your eye in many different ways as in the form of an injury caused by the branch of a tree.
- Those who wear contact lenses are at a great risk of bacterial and fungal eye infections including Acanthamoeba keratitis. That is why a person should disinfect the contact lenses after removing them.
- Trachoma is an eye infection that is associated with Chlamydia trachomatis. Generally, the inner eyelid is infected due to trachoma. This infection can spread due to flies in an environment which is not clean.
How is it diagnosed?
Sometimes, an eye infection can be major and at other times it can be minor. There are some infections that get resolved on their own with some care. You should reach out to an ophthalmologist if your symptoms are bothering you for more than 48 hours. The ophthalmologist can easily recognise your problem by knowing about your medical history, having a look at the appearance of your eye and knowing if it is one eye or both. An eye doctor has many lighted devices that help to look at the retina and cornea. If you are experiencing the problem of discharge from the eye then your doctor may get it tested to know the organism. Gonorrhoea, herpes simplex, and chlamydia are some of the common diseases for which the test is done.
Check out various tips that will help you to get prevention from an eye infection:
- If you are with a person who is suffering from conjunctivitis then you should avoid touching your eyes until you wash your hands properly. It will reduce your chance of catching an eye infection.
- You should use the anti-infective sprays and cleansers particularly in public areas such as classrooms and daycare centres.
- If there is some family member who has got an eye infection then you should keep his or her towel and bed clean. He or she should not share these items with others. Such people should wash their hands frequently.
- You should tell your children that they should not touch their eyes without washing their hands.
- If you wear contact lenses then you should disinfect your lenses after removing them. Contact lens wearers should wash their hands before touching the lens.
- You should never sleep with a contact lens in your eyes. Make sure that you remove your lenses before sleeping as it increases the risk of catching an eye infection.
Viral conjunctivitis or pink eye generally gets resolve without taking any treatment within a few days. In most of the cases, parasitic and fungal eye infections are treated with the help of certain medicines. Check out various treatment options that are available for treating an eye infection:
1.Most of the common bacterial infections get resolve with a quick treatment including prescribed ointments, compresses, or antibiotic eye drops.
2.There are some common viral eye infections that resolve on their own. But if you have a severe viral eye infection then your doctor may prescribe you an antiviral eyedrop. In some cases of viral eye infections, steroid eye drops are used to reduce inflammation.
3.Your doctor may recommend you to have antiviral or antibiotics medicines as per the exact cause of your infection. These medicines are taken orally. If your symptoms get worse after taking some medicines then you should immediately reach out to the best ophthalmologist.
It is important that you follow good hygiene practices with the treatment so that you can be cured at the earliest. You should not touch your eyes without washing your hands if you met a person with conjunctivitis. You must wash your hands frequently. If you are a contact lens wearer then you should use lenses with clean hands. You should not wear contact lenses while sleeping as sometimes it can lead to an eye infection.
An infection in the eye can lead to many complications. Check out various complications associated with an eye infection:
- Sometimes, an eye infection can affect the lower and upper areas of eyelids leading to chalazion or stye.
- People may get serious eye infections that can affect the interior and deeper areas of the eyes. Such infection can lead to a sight-threatening condition including endophthalmitis.
- Inflammatory conditions including uveitis and dacryostenosis can occur when an infection invades the tear glands of the eye.
- There can be a blockage or inflammation in the tear drainage system of the eye due to an eye infection. This condition can lead to dacryocystitis.
- A corneal ulcer can occur due to an infection in the eye. Corneal ulcer looks similar to an abscess on the eye. This condition should not be left untreated otherwise it can lead to the problem of vision loss.
- Orbital cellulitis is an infection found around or in the soft tissue of the eyelids. It is an emergency situation as it can spread if not treated properly or left untreated.
Check out various myths about an eye infection:
Myth 1: Conjunctivitis is an eye infection that affects children only.
Fact: The problem of conjunctivitis or pink eye is generally linked with children. But it is a misconception that it can affect only children. As per research, elders are as equally as affected by conjunctivitis as children. It can occur due to parasites, bacteria, and viruses. It is not restricted to a particular age group. So, it is important that every person get protection from conjunctivitis as it is a highly contagious disease.
Myth 2: A single look can spread an eye infection.
Fact: It is a misconception or myth that an infection spreads by making an eye contact. By now, doctors are not able to discover that a disease can spread by just having an eye contact.
An eye infection can occur due to fungi, bacteria, and viruses. It can affect your eyelid, conjunctiva, and cornea. Red eyes, eye discharge, watery eyes, dry eyes, swollen eyes, blurry vision and light sensitivity are some of the common symptoms of an eye infection. You should reach out to the best doctor if your symptoms are bothering you. Sometimes, a delay in treatment can lead to major complication including vision loss. A person of any age can have an eye infection. You may have an infection in one eye or both the eyes.
Your doctor can easily recognise the problem by just having a look at the appearance of your eye. If you also have the problem of eye discharge then your doctor may ask you to get it checked to find out the organism. In some cases, tests are required such as gonorrhoea, herpes simplex, and chlamydia. Sometimes, an eye infection gets resolve on its own without any treatment. But in some cases, you should visit a doctor if you are experiencing symptoms for more than 48 hours. Your doctor may prescribe you ointments, compresses, antibiotic eye drops, antibiotic medications, or antiviral medications depending on your situation.
You should not touch your eyes until you wash your hands after meeting a person affected with an eye infection. You should wash your hands frequently in order to get prevention from an eye infection. Anti-infective sprays and cleansers should be used especially in public areas such as classrooms and daycare centres. Contact lens wearers should not touch lenses without washing their hands. They should wear lens when sleeping. They should disinfect the lenses after removing them.
Many complications are associated with an eye infection that is why you should get your eye checked regularly. An eye infection can affect the interior and deeper portion of eyes. An eye infection can lead to a corneal ulcer. It is important that one gets proper treatment for corneal ulcer otherwise it can to vision loss. Orbital cellulitis is another major complication that requires immediate treatment. People have many misconceptions about eye infection. Conjunctivitis is an eye infection that affects children only is one of the common myths. A single look can spread an eye infection is another myth.
Middle-ear infections (otitis media) are inflammation or infections located in the middle ear space. Ear infections can occur as a result of a cold or upper respiratory infection, or may occur in isolation in the presence of chronic middle ear fluid.
While children or adults may develop an ear infection, the following are some of the factors that may increase a person’s risk of developing ear infections:
Being around someone who smokes
Family history of ear infections
A weak immune system
Spending time in a day care setting
Having a cold or upper respiratory infection
Being bottle-fed while lying on his or her back
Chronic fluid within the middle ear
Middle-ear infections are usually a result of dysfunction of the eustachian tube, a canal that links the middle ear with the throat area. The eustachian tube helps to equalize the pressure between the outer ear and the middle ear.
When this tube is not working properly, it prevents normal pressure equalization, causing a buildup of fluid behind the eardrum. Additionally, it can be a source of bacteria to enter the middle ear. When this fluid cannot drain, it allows for the growth of bacteria and viruses in the ear that can lead to an ear infection. The following are some of the reasons that the eustachian tube may not work properly:
Young age (the eustachian tube of young children is underdeveloped and does not work as efficiently as adults’)
A malformation of the eustachian tube
Enlarged and chronically inflamed adenoids
Types of Middle-Ear Infections
Different types of otitis media include the following:
Acute otitis media. This middle-ear infection occurs abruptly, causing swelling and redness. Fluid and mucus become trapped inside the ear, causing the child to have a fever and ear pain.
Otitis media with effusion. Fluid (effusion) and mucus continue to accumulate in the middle ear after an initial infection subsides. The child may experience a feeling of fullness in the ear, and it may affect his or her hearing, or cause no symptoms.
Chronic otitis media with effusion. Fluid remains in the middle ear for a prolonged period or returns again and again, even though there is no infection. May result in difficulty fighting new infection and may affect a person’s hearing.
The following are the most common symptoms of an ear infection. However, each child may experience symptoms differently.
Fever, especially in infants and younger children
Fluid draining from ear canals
Loss of balance
It may be more difficult to detect an ear infection in young children who have not learned to speak yet. Symptoms in children and nonverbal individuals may include:
Difficulty sleeping or staying asleep
Tugging or pulling at one or both ears
The symptoms of ear infections may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your child's health care provider for a diagnosis.
Diagnosing Ear Infections
In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, your child's health care provider will inspect the outer ear(s) and eardrum(s) using an otoscope. The otoscope is a lighted instrument that allows the health care provider to see inside the ear. A pneumatic otoscope blows a puff of air into the ear to test eardrum movement.
Tympanometry is a test that can be performed in most health care providers’ offices to help determine how the middle ear is functioning. It does not test hearing, but it helps to detect any changes in pressure in the middle ear. This is a difficult test to perform in younger children because the child needs to remain still and not cry, talk or move.
A hearing test may be performed for children who have frequent ear infections.
Specific treatment for ear infections will be determined by your health care provider based on the following:
Age, overall health and medical history
Extent of the condition
Tolerance for specific medications, procedures or therapies
Expectations for the course of the condition
Your opinion or preference
Treatment may include:
Antibiotics by mouth or eardrops
Medication for pain and fever
A combination of the above
If fluid remains in the ear(s) for longer than three months and the infection continues to reoccur even with the use of antibiotics, your health care provider may suggest that small tubes be placed in the ear(s). This surgical procedure, called myringotomy and tympanostomy tube placement, involves making a small opening in the eardrum to drain the fluid and relieve the pressure from the middle ear. A small tube is placed in the opening of the eardrum to ventilate the middle ear and prevent fluid from accumulating. The child's hearing is restored after the fluid is drained. The tubes usually fall out on their own after six to 12 months.
Your surgeon may also recommend the removal of the adenoids (lymph tissue located in the space above the soft roof of the mouth, also called the nasopharynx) if they are infected or enlarged. Removal of the adenoids has shown to help some people with chronic ear infections.
Treatment will depend on the type of ear infection. Consult your health care provider regarding treatment options.
Effects of an Ear Infection
In addition to the symptoms of ear infections listed above, untreated ear infections can result in any or all of the following:
Infection in other parts of the head
Scarring or perforation of the eardrum
Permanent hearing loss
Problems with speech and language development (children)
There are many organisms that live in our bodies and on the surface of the skin. These are usually harmless and do not cause any damage. But there are many organisms like viruses, fungi and bacteria that can cause infectious disorders known as infections. There are many kinds of infections that can affect the various parts of the body. These are generally caused by various things starting from contaminated food, to transmission from an infected person and more. Read on to know more about the kind of infections and their causes.
Getting vaccinated on time can help in preventing many infections. This is especially important if you are travelling to various countries.
The most common ear infections happen because of bacterial or viral growth in the middle ear, the part which lies just behind the ear drum. Middle-ear infections can be very painful and children are most commonly reported in children. Most of these infections are caused by the blockage of the Eustachian tube, which connects the ear and the throat, causing the build-up of fluids and swelling. Here is a guide to the most common forms of ear infections and their symptoms, ranging from the acute to the chronic.
Acute infections have intense symptoms but can be cured with time and treatment. They generally last for shorter durations.
In Chronic cases of infections, the patient complains of recurrent symptoms multiple times. Chronic ear infections have the potential of causing permanent damage to the ear.
Symptoms reported by most patients with Ear infections:
1. Pain in the ear (Mild to severe): This is caused due to increased pressure owing to the blockage of the Eustachian tube. Collection of fluid inside the ear would increase the intensity of pain in most cases. Children will keep tugging at their ear and most likely be cranky.
2. Redness and swelling: Both of these are inevitable accompanying symptoms in case of any infection in the body.
3. Oozing of the fluids: The blockage leads to the fluid being released from the ear which can be watery, thick yellow or mixed with blood depending on the severity and type of infection.