Saturday, Oct 1, 2022 by Nisha Gupta, MD

This month we will discuss the condition called endophthalmitis.

What is endophthalmitis?

Endophthalmitis is a sight-threatening infection of the tissues and fluid inside the eye. The acute form is more common and develops quickly. The chronic form develops slowly and can last longer.

What are the causes?

This infection can come from eye surgery, eye injections, or injuries. In some cases, the infection comes from another part of the body that is infected and spreads to the eye.

What are the symptoms and what does it look like?

Eye pain Redness Blurry vision or loss of vision Swollen lids Discharge from the eyes

If you have any of these symptoms, consult an ophthalmologist immediately. Endophthalmitis can cause permanent blindness if not treated quickly.

The photo below shows someone with endophthalmitis. The eye is red, lids are swollen, and there are white blood cells layering inside the eye in front of the iris and pupil.


Image Source 1

How is this diagnosed and treated?

A comprehensive eye exam is necessary to diagnose endophthalmitis. A dilated eye exam allows for the doctor to look inside the eye for signs of infection.

If the doctor suspects this infection, a vitreous tap may be done. This involves collecting a sample of fluid from the eye and sending it to a lab to test if there is an infection. The treatment involves getting injections of antibiotics or antifungal medications into the eye to help preserve the vision. Steroid drops may also be used to decrease swelling. More serious cases may require surgery.

Prevention includes wearing safety glasses during activities that may cause eye injuries and following all instructions after having an eye surgery or procedure.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms after an eye procedure or injury, be sure to see your ophthalmologist right away.

  1. This work is a derivative of Endophthalmitis (post-cataract surgery) by David Yorston, used under CC BY-NC 2.0. This image is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0 by Gupta Eye Center LLC. [return]

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