Endophthalmitis

What is endophthalmitis?

Endophthalmitis is an infection inside the eye. Fortunately, it is rare, but it can cause severe visual loss even with treatment. It is most common following severe eye injuries, eye surgery and intravitreal injections of medications like Avastin, Lucentis, and triamcinolone.

What are the symptoms of endophthalmitis?

The most common symptoms of endophthalmitis are abrupt visual loss, redness and pain. Pain can be variable and is not always present. The symptoms most often begin within a few days of the inciting event. Less commonly, the infection can arise months after eye surgery — typically cataract surgery — and progress slowly. This is known as chronic endophthalmitis and usually causes much milder symptoms than acute (rapid-onset) endophthalmitis.

What causes endophthalmitis, and how is it treated?

Endophthalmitis is typically caused by bacteria, but it can occasionally be caused by a fungus. For bacterial infections, antibiotics are injected into the eye. The most commonly injected antibiotics are vancomycin and ceftazidime. They are usually injected together. This combination of antibiotics is able to effectively treat most bacterial infections inside the eye. For fungal infections, a medication called amphotericin B is often injected into the vitreous.

What is the prognosis for vision with endophthalmitis?

Endophthalmitis after a severe eye injury, known as traumatic endophthalmitis, often causes permanent, severe visual loss. Endophthalmitis following cataract surgery is most often caused by a type of bacterium that fortunately does not usually cause permanent, severe loss of vision if treated promptly. A minority of patients with endophthalmitis after cataract surgery do suffer severe, permanent visual loss. Endophthalmitis after intravitreal injections tends to be caused by a more aggressive type of bacterium and usually results in permanently decreased vision despite aggressive treatment.

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West Des Moines Office
Iowa Retina Consultants
1501 50th Street, Suite 133 (Regency West #1)
West Des Moines, Iowa 50266
Phone: 515-222-6400 or 800-825-8462
Fax: 515-222-6406
Cedar Rapids Office
Iowa Eye Center
1650 1st Avenue
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52402
Phone:  319-362-3937 or 800-362-3937
Fax:  319-362-2900
Carroll Office
St. Anthony Eye Clinic
405 S. Clark Street, Suite 220
Carroll, Iowa 51401
Phone: 712-792-8255
Fax: 712-792-8256
Mason City Office
North Iowa Eye Clinic
3121 4th Street Southwest
Mason City, Iowa 50401
Phone: 641-423-8861 or 800-392-9473
Fax: 641-423-0727
Iowa City Office
Eye Physicians and Surgeons
2629 Northgate Dr
Iowa City, Iowa 52245
Phone: 319-338-3623
Fax: 800-338-3623

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