What You Should Know About Eye Fungal Infection or Ocular Mycosis

Ocular mycosis is a fungal infection of the eye. This type of eye infections occurs in 2 phases (keratitis and endophthalmitis). Keratitis occurs when the fungi affect the cornea while endophthalmitis occurs when the whole eye is affected. Endophthalmitis is rare, but its consequences are often severe.

There are 2 types of fungi that cause ocular mycosis;

  1. Filamentous fungi present in the soil and plants;
  2. Yeasts (including Candida Albicans)

Symptoms of Ocular Mycosis

Whether in the form of keratitis or endophthalmitis, ocular mycosis is manifested by a triad of more or less pronounced symptoms:

  • Red eye
  • Painful eye
  • Drop in vision of the affected eye.

Risk Factors

Several factors favor the occurrence of ocular mycosis:

  • Wearing of contact lenses increases the risk of corneal infection (keratitis). The leading cause here is the failure to comply with the safety regulations regarding wearing lenses. You should adhere to the hygiene standards required.
  • People who already have a prior infection of the cornea or ocular surface are more predisposed to develop keratitis due to the weakened ocular surface.
  • Treatments with corticosteroids promote local immunosuppression. Using eye drops containing preservatives weaken the ocular surface. Therefore, people on treatment may be more vulnerable.

Treatment of Ocular Mycosis

Before considering any treatment, a cornea removal should be the first consideration as well as a microbiological analysis in order to better adapt the treatment. However, if the infection is due to wearing glasses, the first indication will be to suspend the wearing of lenses.

In case of keratitis, antifungal eye drops are prescribed to eliminate the fungi. Where local treatment is insufficient or inadequate, other treatments such as corneal injections or surgery to increase the concentration of antifungals in the cornea are used.

In case of endophthalmitis, the use of antifungals is often the only treatment possible, either as an injection inside the eye, or orally or intravenously, for several weeks or months. Another solution is to remove the vitreous which harbors many germs surgically.