Donate to Eye Infections Research, Patient Care and Education

Every year, almost one million Americans visit a physician for treatment for an eye infection. Every part of a person’s eye–including, for example, the eyelids, the retina and the cornea–can develop an infection, typically caused by a virus, bacteria or fungi. All types of eye infections require swift diagnosis and treatment, and, at Northwestern Medicine, people with eye infections benefit from the very finest diagnostic and treatment approaches.

By making a donation to Northwestern Memorial Foundation, you will help to ensure that opthamologists at Northwestern Medicine continue to provide the most advanced and most effective treatments to patients with both acute and chronic eye infections.

Common kinds of eye infections include:

  • Blepharitis (infection of the glands at the base of the eyelashes.)
  • Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
  • Corneal ulcer
  • Dacryocystitis (infection of the lacrimal sac, or inner edge of the lower eyelid.)
  • Herpes simplex
  • Herpes zoster (shingles)
  • Keratitis
  • Periorbital cellulitis (bacterial infection of the skin and soft tissues.)
  • Stye
  • Trachoma

Symptoms can vary widely, depending on the nature of the eye infection. Symptoms might include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Eye pain, burning or burning
  • Yellow, green or bloody eye release
  • Eyes “adhered” closed upon awakening
  • Red eyes
  • Watery eyes
  • Flaking of skin on eyelids and near eyebrows
  • Swollen eyelids

Because eye infections are highly contagious, it is important for people to take steps to prevent contracting or spreading an infection. At Northwestern Medicine, the specialists in our Department of Ophthalmology are dedicated to raising awareness of eye infections and to improving the public’s and patients’ understanding of risk factors, symptoms and treatments. Your generous contribution to Northwestern Memorial Foundation will help to advance these vital efforts.

An individual may be more susceptible to eye infections if he or she:

  • Wears contact lenses
  • Scratches or injures his or her cornea
  • Has had eye surgery
  • Works with compounds and does not wear eye protection
  • Has eye irritation due to allergies or other causes
  • Has a sexually transmitted infection

In order to accurately diagnose a patient’s eye infection, physicians at Northwestern Medicine may use a variety of tools, including:

  • Visual acuity test: This eye chart test measures vision ability at various distances, utilizing a series of lenses.
  • Pupil dilation: A patient’s pupil is widened with eye drops to allow for a close-up evaluation of the eye’s retina and lens.
  • Lab tests: In some cases, discharge from the eye may be analyzed, in order to identify the specific agent that is causing the infection.

Most eye infection respond well to the following treatments: 

  • Warm compresses
  • Prescription eye drops, including antibiotic eye drops to treat bacterial infections
  • Eye ointments

Northwestern Medicine’s ophthalmologists consistently remind their patients, and all of us, to guard against eye infections by taking the following steps and precautions: 

  • Wash hands regularly and thoroughly
  • Practice good contact lens hygiene
  • Avoid touching the eyes.
  • Avoid sharing towels, bedding and cosmetics.
  • Replace old eye makeup, and avoid using any eye makeup if the eyes are infected 
  • Protect eyes from sunlight, harsh weather and chemical vulnerability

Eye Infections Research, Patient Care and Education Donation

By making a donation to Northwestern Memorial Foundation in support of eye infection-related prevention, education and treatment, you will help to ensure that Northwestern Medicine’s eye specialists remain on the leading edge of care for people with a variety of eye infections. Your generosity will provide crucial support to patients and care providers alike as they confront the challenges of eye infections.  

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