Bacterial keratitis: When bacteria attack the cornea

The eyes can become an ideal environment for the development of bacteria that end up causing annoying infections. Such is the case of bacterial keratitis, which develops on the surface of the cornea and if not treated correctly can lead to blindness. Here we tell you what this condition is about and how to quickly detect it to avoid complications.

Bacteria are everywhere. In fact, in our body we have millions! of them that are necessary to maintain balanced the different functions of the organism. Of course, sometimes there are bacteria that cause diseases, and that is when it is necessary to treat them. The places they choose to grow (and potentially affect us in a negative way) can be very varied. In this column we will stop in the eyes, which can be affected by bacteria that cause, for example, what is known as bacterial keratitis (since keratitis can also be caused by fungi and herpes, among other microorganisms).

Bacterial keratitis is an infection of the cornea, the most superficial part of the eye, that can be caused due to the use of contact lenses or an injury to the eye, for example, the use of some medicament for the eyes that is contaminated have had a recent corneal disease or have low defenses due to diabetes , alcoholism or poor nutrition.

When keratitis affects the most superficial layers of the cornea, it is said to be just “superficial”, and once it heals it does not usually leave scars or marks. On the contrary, when it affects other layers of the cornea it is a deep keratitis and in those cases it is possible that there is some scar, which may or may not affect the vision, depending on where it is located.

In general, bacterial keratitis develops very quickly and if it is not received the appropriate treatment can cause blindness. Therefore, pay attention to these symptoms and, especially if they occur suddenly, consult an ophthalmologist (a doctor who specializes in treating the eyes) immediately, so that he can treat you:

  • pain in the affected eye (often sudden)
  • decreased vision
  • sensitivity to light
  • tearing or discharge from the eye.

To treat bacterial keratitis, antibiotic drops are usually used and it is also possible that the ophthalmologist (a) tells you to apply a topical (local) steroid medication to the eye to decrease inflammation.

Also, if you wear contact lenses, you may have to stop using them until the infection is removed and it is always very important that you handle them and store them with care, cleaning them properly , to reduce the chances of them they infect your eyes in the future. Remember that to properly clean your contact lenses you must have certain basic care such as:

  • wash and dry your hands well before handling them, using an unscented soap
  • keep nails short so as not to damage the lenses or hurt the eye while you put them on
  • do not use water from the tap (faucet) to wash contact lenses or rinse them with saliva
  • Use the lens cleaning solutions recommended by your ophthalmologist or optometrist
  • follow the instructions for use and storage to the letter
  • wash and disinfect the lenses each time you remove them, if they are not disposable or disposable
  • keep the case where you keep the lenses clean (wash it with the same special solution for lenses and leave them empty and open to dry in the air)
  • replace the lenses (and the cases that contain them) as instructed by the specialist

Now you know a little more about bacterial keratitis, another of the conditions that can affect the eyes. If you feel any symptoms or have doubts about your vision, see an ophthalmologist. This way you will keep your eyes healthy and you will be able to continue enjoying the things that you like, in full color!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *