Staphylococcus aureus is a kind of bacteria that are found in our skin, specially around the nose. It can cause a lot of illnesses, ranging from minor skin infections to life-threatening diseases, like meningitis, septicemia, endocarditis, and so on. Similarly, it can also effect the eyes, and if the infection is serious and not treated on time, it can hamper vision. Staph infection in the eye can cause abnormal growth in your eyes, leading to pain, swelling and redness.
List of Staph Infections Affecting the Eyes
Stye refers to a staph infection affecting the tear glands along the bottom of the eye lashes. A stye is a yellowish growth along the affected area, coupled with pain, watery eyes, tenderness, itching, and swelling.
In this infection, the tear glands are affected, but the manifestation of the infection may occur at a different place. Dacryocystitis is a state where the tear glands at the corner of the eye are blocked, and a yellow or red, swollen and painful mass, develops in the inside corner of the eye. It's basically a blocked tear duct which needs to be cleared.
Periorbital cellulitis affects the eyelids and the area around an eye. It causes inflammation of the same. The skin around the eyes turns bright red and is slightly raised, as a result of periorbital cellulitits.
This is a severe version of cellulitis. Apart from being red and being painfully swollen, eye movement is restricted in this condition. This condition is often accompanied by fever.
This is one of the rare staph infections that affects the white of the eye, and as serious as the other infections of the eyes. If not taken care of properly, it could result in blindness. In endogenous endopthalmitis, there is a raised, red and very painful growth all over the eye, which is the stage prior to blindness.
A large blister, purple-red in color, is formed in this infection, which occurs in case of a wound or incision around the eye. This is called a bleb and it is filled with liquid, and is painful to the touch.
Eye staph infections can be dealt with, by a combination of different forms of treatment. For instance, styes can be treated by applying warm compress to the affected area. This will lead to the rupture of the stye, but if it does not rupture on its own by this method, then consult a doctor. The doctor could lance the drain by using local anesthesia. Antibiotic or steroid ointments are sometimes prescribed to treat a stye. Dosage of antibiotics may also be prescribed by the doctor, if the bacteria is not methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). It is that strain of the staph bacteria that has become resistant to the antibiotics used to treat staph bacteria in general. It may have occurred over time, due to the prolonged or unnecessary usage of antibiotics by people. Different treatment options are used by the doctors in this case.
How You Can Prevent These Infections
- Adhering to very simple precautionary measures, can prevent staph infections, not just in the eye but anywhere in the body. The first thing you can do is to maintain a good level of hygiene.
- Washing hands frequently is a good start.
- Keep a disinfectant handy, for cleaning those surfaces of your home which are frequently handled by everyone.
- In case of wounds and cuts, make sure that they are not open. Cover up your wounds, and bandage them properly.
- When getting the infection examined by your doctor, ensure that he/ she has washed his/ her hands.
- If you have been prescribed antibiotics, then finish the dosage even if you feel better halfway through it.
The next time you think you have a staph infection in your eye, consult a doctor on priority, to prevent damage to your eyes. Consultation with an ophthalmologist is recommended, regarding the slightest trouble with your eyes.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is meant for informational purposes only, and should not be considered as a replacement for expert advice.