Eye Infection & Dry Eye Treatment
If you think you may be experiencing an eye infection, promptly seek professional care by calling our office. Someone will answer your call 24 hours a day.
South Bend office: (574) 287-0890
New Carlisle office: (574) 654-8806
Symptoms of eye infection commonly include itching, redness, swelling, increased tearing, discharge from the eye, and crust formation around the eye. Symptoms often come on quickly and usually last for one to two weeks with viral infections.
Symptoms of bacterial infections will usually clear sooner with antibiotic treatment. Eye infections can often occur in just one eye, but can quickly spread to the other eye.
Common eye infections include conjunctivitis, often called pink eye, which affects the membrane that lines the inside of your eyelids and covers the whites of the eyes, and blepharitis, which affects the eyelid margin. Although infections of the cornea, the clear "window" over the center of your eye, are not common, they can seriously affect your vision. The use of contact lenses contributes to eye infections if worn for extended periods or without proper cleaning.
Treatment one of our eye doctors will recommend will depend on the type and severity of your eye infection. Viral eye infections generally resolve on their own. Bacterial eye infections often require antibiotics. In many cases, we will also suggest self-care measures and home treatments to make an eye infection less uncomfortable.
Symptoms of keratoconjuctivitis sicca -- more commonly known as Dry Eye Syndrome, or Dry Eye – are persistent dryness, scratching, and burning in your eyes. Sometimes watery eyes can result because the excessive dryness works to over stimulate tear production.
Dry Eye is more than just an uncomfortable or irritating condition. If untreated, excessive dryness can damage eye tissue and possibly scar the cornea. If you wear contact lenses, increased irritation from dryness can also increase your chances for an eye infection.
Dry Eye can occur from one of several causes, including hormonal fluctuations (ex. menopause), medication side affects, long-term contact lens wear, dry environments, extended computer use, and be a symptom of autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, ocular rosacea, or Sjogren's Syndrome.
Unfortunately Dry Eye can not be cured, but your eyes' sensitivity can be lessened and treatment prescribed so your eyes remain healthy and your vision unaffected. We offer the following methods to manage Dry Eye:
Artificial tears – non-prescription, lubricating eye drops.
Restasis® Ophthalmic Emulsion – a topical medication that requires a prescription from your eye doctor.
Punctal plugs – a painless insert into your tear duct used to keep tears from draining too quickly.
Cauterization – for extreme cases not responding to other treatments.
Nutritional Supplements – Omega 3's including fish oil, flaxseed oil, or combinations of the two.
Recommendations – depending upon the reason for your eye dryness, we may suggest environmental changes, such as controlling humidity levels in your home; a change in contact lens wear; or glasses prescribed specifically for computer use.
On the horizon – We are anxiously following some promising new treatments currently being used in Europe and recently approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.