Fungal eye infections. We can all agree that, they're as offputting as they sound. Unfortunately, they can also lead to serious eye conditions, including loss of vision. While most eye infections are caused by bacteria, fungal eye infections are somewhat rarer in that they're caused by fungus that lives in plants and soil, on indoor and outdoor surfaces, and occasionally, on the human body itself.
Fungal eye infections also often share the same symptoms as their bacterial counterparts, including eye pain, redness of the eye, blurred vision, sensitivity to light, and excessive tearing. If you're experiencing any of these symptoms, you should call your eye doctor immediately as it could lead to a more serious condition. Depending on the type of fungus and the severity of the infection, your doctor may prescribe medicated eye drops, antifungal medication (taken either as a pill or injection), and in extreme cases, surgery.
In the meantime, here are five easy ways you can avoid this potentially serious eye condition:
Use Protective Eyewear
If you're working in the backyard or outdoors, protective eyewear can ensure that you avoid many of the common fungi that exist in plants and soil. Be sure to also use eyewear with added UV protection to protect your eyes from harmful ultraviolet radiation.
Keep Your Contact Lenses Clean
If you wear contact lenses, be sure to clean them regularly using proper solution. Never sleep in your contacts or clean them with water, saliva, soap, or other household cleaning products.
Keep Your Hands Clean
Be sure to regularly wash your hands, particularly if you're working with plants, soil, or in areas where fungus might be growing (such as basements, old buildings, or farms).
Treat Damp Areas in Your Home
Fungi often grow in damp and isolated areas. If your home was flooded or is experiencing a water leak, be sure to properly clean and dry the area, and, if necessary, treat any remaining fungus with proper cleaning products.
Get a Complete Eye Exam
Symptoms of fungal eye infections can sometimes take weeks to appear. If you think you may have an infection, don't delay in getting your eyes looked at. Regular eye exams can also ensure your eyes are healthy and provide you with advice from your optometrist on how to avoid fungal infections in the future.
To learn more about other types of eye infections such as pink eye and how to care for your eyes, read our health blog. Then make sure your eyes are healthy by booking an appointment with an FYidoctors optometrist near you.