As optometrists, early detection of potential eye infections is important for effective treatment before issues worsen. Many infections arise from minor irritations but knowing warning signs empowers you to promptly seek care. Some common symptoms to look out for include:
Redness - Prominent blood vessel inflammation beyond typical eye color indicates immune cells fighting germs inside tissues.
Pain/Discomfort - Scratchiness, burning, stinging or sharp pain upon blinking can signal infection.
Light Sensitivity - Bright lights exacerbate eye soreness and glare may disrupt clear vision.
Tearing - Excess watering and tearing stems from irritation activating glands protecting the eyes.
Discharge/Crusting - Sticky debris accumulating in lash lines after sleep often appears yellow/green and signifies pus-filled infection sites.
Swelling/Puffy - Eyes may look somewhat puffy or swollen around lids from underlying infection response.
Blurry Vision - Inflammation interfering with corneal clarity leads to temporary vision fogginess.
Crusty/Stuck Eyelids - Matter sticking together upon waking likely contains plenty of infectious fluid.
Common causes include bacterial conjunctivitis (pink eye), viral keratoconjunctivitis, styes and blepharitis. But do see us promptly if symptoms quickly intensify accompanied by other signs like fever, severe pain or vision loss as these may signal eye emergencies.
Promptly wiping away discharge each morning, using preservative-free artificial tears and avoiding contact lens wear until resolution helps speed recovery at home. But always partner diligent self-care with an exam when symptoms onset for accurate diagnosis and strongest treatment plan from your eye doctors. Ignored, infections risk longterm visual and health issues - so catch them early!