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Endophthalmitis

Background

Endophthalmitis is an infection that occurs inside the eye. The infection typically involves multiple eye structures, from the cornea in the front of the eye to the retina in the back. Endophthalmitis is incredibly rare. If it occurs, it is usually after ocular trauma, eye surgery, intravitreal injections, or severe systemic infection.

Endophthalmitis is a sight-threatening emergency. A retinal specialist must identify the underlying organism responsible for the infection. This can sometimes be determined by a direct biopsy of eye tissue or intraocular fluid and/or blood cultures when systemic infection is suspected. Possible treatments are injection of antiobiotics inside the eye, intravenous or oral antibiotics, and/or vitrectomy surgery. Vision recovery after infection is variable but guarded and often depends on the cause of the organism and time to treatment.

Most common symptoms

  • Pain
  • Vision loss
  • Discharge from the eye
  • Sensitivity to light

Complications

  • Blindness
  • Retinal detachment
  • Pain
  • Corneal scarring
  • Glaucoma
  • Cataract

What do you do if you have endophthalmitis?

  • If you suspect you have an eye infection or you have pain, vision loss, or discharge after recent eye surgery, then you must see your eye doctor as soon as possible to evaluate your condition.
  • If you are subsequently diagnosed with endophthalmitis, then it is imperative that you adhere to the treatment plan outlined by your eye doctor and report any worsening of symptoms.