Information for Patients
Your eyes can get infections from bacteria, fungi, or viruses. Eye infections can occur in different parts of the eye and can affect just one eye or both. Two common eye infections are
- Conjunctivitis - also known as pinkeye. Conjunctivitis is often due to an infection. Children frequently get it, and it is very contagious.
- Stye - a bump on the eyelid that happens when bacteria from your skin get into the hair follicle of an eyelash.
Symptoms of eye infections may include redness, itching, swelling, discharge, pain, or problems with vision. Treatment depends on the cause of the infection and may include compresses, eye drops, creams, or antibiotics.
The retina is a layer of tissue in the back of your eye that senses light and sends images to your brain. In the center of this nerve tissue is the macula. It provides the sharp, central vision needed for reading, driving and seeing fine detail.
Retinal disorders affect this vital tissue. They can affect your vision, and some can be serious enough to cause blindness. Examples are
- Macular degeneration - a disease that destroys your sharp, central vision
- Diabetic eye disease
- Retinal detachment - a medical emergency, when the retina is pulled away from the back of the eye
- Retinoblastoma - cancer of the retina. It is most common in young children.
- Macular pucker - scar tissue on the macula
- Macular hole - a small break in the macula that usually happens to people over 60
- Floaters - cobwebs or specks in your field of vision
NIH: National Eye Institute
Toxoplasmosis is a disease caused by the parasite Toxoplasma gondii. More than 60 million people in the U.S. have the parasite. Most of them don't get sick. But the parasite causes serious problems for some people. These include people with weak immune systems and babies whose mothers become infected for the first time during pregnancy. Problems can include damage to the brain, eyes, and other organs.
You can get toxoplasmosis from
- Waste from an infected cat
- Eating contaminated meat that is raw or not well cooked
- Using utensils or cutting boards after they've had contact with contaminated raw meat
- Drinking infected water
- Receiving an infected organ transplant or blood transfusion
Most people with toxoplasmosis don't need treatment. There are drugs to treat it for pregnant women and people with weak immune systems.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention