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Can Optometrists Treat Eye Infections?

September 14 2022

If you’ve ever had an eye infection, you know how painful and frustrating it can be. And if you’re not careful, it can lead to permanent vision loss.The good news is they’re easily treatable and an optometrist is the one to handle it.

Read on as a Lake Stevens, WA optometrist talks about eye infections, symptoms to watch for, and how an optometrist would go about treating them.

What Causes Eye Infections?

When you think of an eye infection, you probably picture a red, swollen eye with pus and maybe even a discharge. And that’s exactly what an eye infection is—a bacterial or viral infection in your eyes.

Eye infections can be caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi, or parasites—and some types of infections may even be caused by allergies!

  • Bacteria are usually spread through direct contact with someone who has the bacteria.
  • Viruses are usually spread through direct contact with someone who has the virus.
  • Fungi and parasites can also be spread through direct contact with someone who has them.
  • Allergies can cause eye infections in some cases. If you have allergies, your immune system may overreact to things like pollen or dust. This causes inflammation, which can make it easier for bacteria to grow.

Symptoms of Eye Infection

There are three main symptoms that indicate an infection is present:

  • Redness of the eyes
  • Pain when blinking
  • Discharge from the eyes (or tearing)

These symptoms will appear gradually over time as your body fights off the bacteria that has entered your body through the conjunctiva. This is the clear tissue that covers the white part of your eye (sclera) and the inside of your eyelids. You may also experience headaches, nausea, or vomiting if you have a more serious eye infection.

Potential Long-Term Effects

An eye infection can be one of the most painful things you’ve ever experienced. It’s also one of the most common and preventable illnesses that people suffer from.

But did you know that an untreated eye infection can cause long-lasting damage to your vision?

The cornea is the outermost layer of your eye, and it’s responsible for focusing light on your retina (the lining at the back of your eye). If this layer becomes damaged, it can lead to scarring and vision loss.

How an Optometrist Treats Eye Infections

When an optometrist treats an eye infection, they’ll start by prescribing antibiotic drops that are designed to fight off the bacteria causing the infection. They’ll also prescribe a lubricant that will help keep your eyes moist so they don’t get dry or irritated.

If your infection is severe enough, your doctor may even recommend surgery to remove scar tissue from around your cornea or conjunctiva (the membrane surrounding your eyeball).

If you have more questions or wish to schedule a checkup, feel free to call our Lake Stevens, WA optometry office anytime!

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Grandview Optometry


16616 Twin Lakes Ave
Marysville, WA 98271
(Inside Marysville/Smokey Point Costco)


Monday-Friday: 10:00am-6:30pm
Saturday:  9:30am-5:00pm
Sunday: Closed

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