Fungal eye infections are exceptionally uncommon, but they can be extremely serious. The most common way for someone to develop a fungal eye infection is as an outcome of an eye injury, especially if the injury was triggered by plant material such as a stick or a thorn. Swelling or infection of the cornea (the clear, front layer of the eye) is referred to as keratitis, and inflammation or infection in the interior of the eye is called endophthalmitis. Many different types of fungis can cause eye infections.
Fungal Eye Infection Treatment
The treatment for a fungal eye infection depends on:
- The type of fungus,
- The intensity of the infection, and
- The parts of the eye that are impacted.
Possible types of treatment for fungal eye infections include:
- Antifungal eye drops
- Antifungal medication provided as a pill or through a vein
- Antifungal medication injected directly into the eye
- Eye surgery
When Do Eye Drops Work for the Infection?
All types of fungal eye infections need to be treated with prescription antifungal medication, normally for several weeks to months. Natamycin is a topical (indicating it’s given in the kind of eye drops) antifungal medication that works well for fungal infections involving the external layer of the eye, particularly those triggered by fungi such as Aspergillus and Fusarium.
Nevertheless, infections that are much deeper and more severe may require treatment with antifungal medication such as amphotericin B, fluconazole, or voriconazole. These medications can be given by mouth, through a vein, or injected directly into the eye.
Patients whose infections don’t improve after using antifungal medications might need surgery, consisting of corneal hair transplant, removal of vitreous gel from the interior of the eye (vitrectomy), or, in severe cases, elimination of the eye (enucleation).