Whoever designed the human eye was an incomparable genius. However, its delicate structure and continuous exposure to the elements also make the eye vulnerable to infections. While almost everyone has heard of or suffered pink eye from bacteria or virus infection, fungi can also infect the eye. It is relatively rare but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t know how to treat fungal eye infections.
Types of Fungal Eye Infections
Only two parts of the eye are vulnerable to fungal infection: the cornea and the vitreous and aqueous humors. Keratitis is fungal infection of the cornea and endophthalmitis is fungal infection of the vitreous and aqueous humors. Vitreous and aqueous are the fluid-like substances that maintain the shape of the eye. Vitreous is in front and aqueous is at the back, so endophthalmitis may infect one or the other or both.
All medications for fungal eye infections require a prescription, though in certain countries you might be able to buy antifungal eye drops and pills from a pharmacy.
The precise treatment depends on the type of fungus and the part or parts of the eye infected. It’s best not to wait for the infection to progress too far, or you would need surgery, which can be as simple as a corneal transplant or as disastrous as an eye removal. It can also spread to the other eye.
Remember that fungal infections usually are symptomless in the beginning, so by the time you notice a problem, it’s already fairly advanced and you’ll have to seek treatment right away. If you take swift action, keratitis can usually be treated with an antifungal eye drop. If not, or if the infection is deep into the vitreous humor, the treatment of choice is antifungal pills (second-generation or later first-generation azoles), or injection if it’s more advanced. Like most fungal infections, it will require multiple doses over a period of time.
That’s about it for the sake of brevity. The long and short of it is you can treat fungal eye infections. Just make sure you seek medical care right away.