Blindness to death; top eye infections with disastrous consequences | Health
It’s hard to imagine a normal life without our precious eyes, yet we take them for granted most of the time. Symptoms like eye redness, watery eyes, blurred vision, and dry eyes are often overlooked as minor issues and not treated seriously. Although most of these symptoms go away on their own, in rare cases, if left untreated, they can lead to serious complications ranging from blindness to death.
A review published in the National Library of Medicine indicates that while most eye infections are mild, others can be associated with devastating visual consequences. Most patients have either eye discharge, visual symptoms, or a red or painful eye.
Experts are of the opinion that some diseases and infections may first manifest as an eye symptom, as the eyes are the only organ in the body where neurons and blood vessels can be viewed directly and therefore the first organ to give us insight into the possible systemic. disease and also to confirm the diagnosis.
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“With advances in medical science, the idea that the eyes are only for vision has changed. Certain eye diseases can lead to vision loss and, in rare cases, become fatal if neglected or diagnosed at an advanced stage,” says Dr Pooja. A Angadi, Senior Consultant, Sharp Sight Eye Hospitals.
“The eye is considered to be the anatomical extension of the brain and serious eye infections can therefore spread to the brain. New drugs and new technologies have led to progress in treatment”, adds the expert.
Mucormyosis and aspergillosis of the eye are two of the infections that once occupied a small footnote in ophthalmology textbooks and have now become commonplace in the era of Covid-19. These are known to have fatal consequences if left untreated.
Here is a list of eye infections that can have devastating consequences if left untreated:
1. Cerebral Orbital Rhino mucormycosis: Commonly known as black fungus, it is a rare infection caused by Mucorales and has a high morbidity and mortality rate. “It mainly occurs in immunocompromised patients like those with uncontrolled diabetes, cancer, post-organ transplant, on chronic steroids and recently it has been seen in patients with severe Covid infection. fungus invades the blood vessels entering through the nasal cavity and spreading to the sinuses and orbit and eventually reaching the brain, which can be fatal,” says Dr. Angadi.
2. Aspergillosis: Similar to mucormycosis, orbital aspergillosis occurs in immunocompromised patients and has the same passage from the nasal cavity to the orbits and then accesses the brain.
“Intracranial extension can lead to brain abscess, vasculitis, thrombosis, and possibly cerebral ischemia and necrosis which can be fatal,” adds Dr. Angadi.
3. Conjunctivitis (pink eye): “The conjunctiva is a thin layer of tissue covering the whites of the eyes and the inside of the eyelids. Conjunctivitis can be described as an infection or inflammation of the conjunctiva. Symptoms are itching and watery discharge. One can get this infection in an eye or It can be serious if not treated at the right time,” says Dr. Ashwini Seth, Ophthalmologist at Apollo Spectra in Karol Bagh Delhi.
“Mortality in the setting of bacterial conjunctivitis is linked to the inability to recognize and treat the underlying disease. Sepsis and meningitis caused by N gonorrhoeae can be life-threatening,” according to Medscape.
4. Blepharitis: It is an inflammation of the eyelids due to bacterial infection, allergies, clogged oil glands in the eyelids, and certain skin conditions.
“One can notice symptoms such as redness and swelling of the eyelids, burning and watery eyes, flaky skin around the eyes. Blepharitis will not lead to blindness but it can invite several other complications like eyelashes can falling or pushing in strange directions,” says Dr. Seth.
5. Uveitis: It is an inflammation of the uvea (the middle layer of the eyeball containing the iris.). It is associated with various conditions such as psoriasis, herpes zoster or rheumatoid arthritis. According to Dr. Seth, one may notice symptoms such as blurred vision, redness of the eyes, and floaters.
6. Keratitis: It is known as inflammation or infection of the cornea (the transparent outer layer of the colored part of the eye. Overuse of contact lenses can cause the infection.
“Wearing lenses for long hours, not cleaning them and storing them improperly can increase the risk of germs entering the cornea. Neglecting it and not seeking immediate treatment can lead to corneal scarring and loss. permanent vision,” says Dr. Seth. .