The eyes, being one of the most sensitive organs in the human body are inflamed when a virus or bacteria infects them. Inflammation in the eye looks like a red swollen lump, which commonly appears on the eyelid. The inflammation is a result of the invasion of the oil gland by bacteria. As soon as bacteria invade the eyes, the body’s immune systems send white blood cells to fight the bacteria. White blood cells subsequently surround the area that is invaded by bacteria to secure the infection. This entire process causes inflammation, which causes certain troublesome symptoms.
Symptoms of eye inflammation
People who get an eye inflammation often experience symptoms like warmth around the eyes, redness and swelling at the spot of infection, and at times, pain. The redness and warmth are caused due to increased blood flow in the area. Swelling is caused when the fluid accumulates at the infection spot; the fluid is also known as pus. Pain occurs when the inflammatory process stimulates the nerve endings in that area.
It is important to understand that an inflammatory process is a healthy way to fight the infection. The healthy inflammatory process is called acute inflammation. However, when the inflammation continues for a long period, it is called chronic inflammation and is considered unresolved inflammation. Chronic eye inflammation needs medical attention for treatment.
Causes of eye inflammation
There are numerous causes of eye inflammation. It is predominantly caused by bacteria, fungi, or viruses. The eyes are an easy entry into the human body for pathogens. Although the eyes constantly fight invaders every day, when there is an infection, the germs outnumber the immune system, leading to inflammation.
Those who have dry eyes are more prone to eye inflammation. This is because the immune system of people with dry eyes is not fully functional due to impaired tear films. In this situation, it becomes easy for pathogens to gain access to the body through the eyes and cause inflammation.
Chronic inflammation is a result of the body’s immune system that cannot differentiate between healthy cells and bacteria and ends up attacking its own healthy tissues. There are essentially three types of chronic inflammatory diseases that affect the eyes, called uveitis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis uveitis, and Graves’ disease.
Diagnosis for eye inflammation
To diagnose the inflammation, the doctor will conduct a slit lamp examination. Soon after the doctor has ascertained the part of the eye that is inflamed, they will prescribe a suitable treatment. Most doctors prescribe antibiotic eye drops for treatment. However, if there is an allergic reaction to the prescribed treatment, it is important to stop contact with the allergen immediately and consult the doctor.
Treating eye inflammation
While eye inflammation can be treated using eye drops, it is important to visit an ENT specialist and get a proper diagnosis. It is also important to visit the doctor to learn about any underlying allergy that can cause trouble during treatment.