Endophthalmitis (Retinal Infection)

Endophthalmitis (Retinal Infection)

Ophthalmology Services

What is Endophthalmitis (Retinal Infection)?

Endophthalmitis is an inflammatory condition of the intraocular cavities usually caused by infection. It can either be acute or chronic, meaning that the infection can develop very quickly (most common), or develop slowly and continue for long periods of time.

Endophthalmitis is rare, however should it occur, it’s an urgent medical emergency.

What is Endophthalmitis (Retinal Infection)?

Endophthalmitis is an inflammatory condition of the intraocular cavities usually caused by infection. It can either be acute or chronic, meaning that the infection can develop very quickly (most common), or develop slowly and continue for long periods of time.

Endophthalmitis is rare, however should it occur, it’s an urgent medical emergency.

Symptoms of Endophthalmitis

Symptoms of endophthalmitis occur rapidly after infection; within one to two days, or at times up to six days after surgery or trauma to the eye.

Some of the common symptoms include:

  • Pain in the eye that increases after surgery or injury to the eye
  • Decreased or a loss of vision
  • Eye redness
  • Pus from the eyes
  • Swollen eyelids

There is also a slight chance that you may experience symptoms later, such as six weeks after surgery. These symptoms tend to be less severe and may include:

  • Blurry vision
  • Mild pain in the eye
  • Trouble looking at bright lights

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, see your doctor immediately. The sooner you receive treatment for your endophthalmitis, the less likely it is to cause prolonged and severe vision problems.

Causes of Endophthalmitis

There are two main types of endophthalmitis: Exogenous endophthalmitis (infection enters the eye through an outside source) and Endogenous endophthalmitis (infection spreads to the eye from another part of the body).

  • Exogenous endophthalmitis

This is the most common type of endophthalmitis and the source of the infection comes from an external item. It can occur as a result of a cut to the eye during surgery or by piercing of the eye by a foreign body.

Risk factors for exogenous endophthalmitis caused by surgery:

  • Extra loss of fluid behind the eye
  • Poor wound healing
  • Longer surgery time

Risk factors for exogenous endophthalmitis caused by eye piercing injury:

  • Having the foreign object remain in your eye
  • Waiting more than 24 hours to repair the wound
  • Being in the open, you are more likely to have external particles enter your eye such as dust, soil, sand etc.
  • Damage to your lens

Endogenous endophthalmitis

This type of endophthalmitis is due to an infection from another part of the body and it subsequently spreads to the eye. While this is less common, it can happen in instances where a patient has a urinary tract infection or a blood infection that remains untreated.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Endophthalmitis

Treatment of endophthalmitis depends on the cause of the specific condition.

Your ophthalmologist will perform several tasks to diagnose your symptoms. They will then examine your eye, ask about your medical background and may even order an ultrasound to see if there are any foreign objects in your eye.

If your doctor suspects an infection, he will perform a test called an aqueous/vitreous tap.

Once he has determined that there is indeed an infection, it is important to get an antibiotic or antifungal medication right into the eye as soon as possible. This is usually done using a tiny needle. You may also get a corticosteroid to reduce any inflammation or swelling caused by the infection.

If there is a foreign object in the eye, it is equally important to remove the object quickly. Never try to remove an object from your eye by yourself as you may accidentally damage your eye even more. Instead, seek immediate medical attention.

Prevention of Endophthalmitis

You can prevent endophthalmitis by:

  • Wearing protective eyewear when doing activities around the house that can injure your eyes. This may include, but are not limited to, things like sawing wood, hammering a nail, sanding etc.
  • Wearing appropriate eyewear and safety gear during contact sports and games.
  • Following your doctor’s home care instructions post-surgery.

At Eyecentric by SJMC, our team of highly experienced eye surgeons deliver state-of-the art care using first-rate clinical practice and advanced medical diagnostics.

Meet our Specialist

Dr Ronald Arun Das

Designation
Consultant Ophthalmologist and Vitreo Retinal Surgeon
Specialty
Ophthalmology






Dr V. Ulagantheran Viswanathan

Designation
Consultant Ophthalmologist and Vitreo Retinal Surgeon
Specialty
Ophthalmology