Bacterial Endophthalmitis: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment
How Do We Define Bacterial Endophthalmitis?
Endophthalmitis is a pathological condition in which there is significant inflammation of the anterior or the posterior chamber of the eyes. Generally it is either bacterial or fungal infection which causes this inflammation. The infection may also involve the aqueous humor. Majority of cases of Endophthalmitis occur after some sort of an eye procedure or some sort of ocular trauma. Acute Bacterial Endophthalmitis is a condition which requires emergent medical attention as it may result in permanent vision loss.
What Are The Causes Of Bacterial Endophthalmitis?
Some Of The Bacteria That May Cause Bacterial Endophthalmitis Are:
Coagulase-Negative Staphylococci: This is the most common cause of Bacterial Endophthalmitis and develops following a cataract surgery.
Bacillus Cereus: This is the reason behind posttraumatic Bacterial Endophthalmitis.
Staphylococcus Aureus causes Bacterial Endophthalmitis in association with endocarditis.
Klebsiella Pneumoniae is also known to cause Bacterial Endophthalmitis, especially in South East Asian countries. This form occurs in association with lives abscesses.
What Are The Symptoms Of Bacterial Endophthalmitis?
Some Of The Symptoms Of Bacterial Endophthalmitis Are:
Decreased or reduced vision is the first sign which may make one suspicious of a Bacterial Endophthalmitis, especially following an eye procedure. This can be more so in individuals with a compromised immune system or individuals who are involved with drugs and use them intravenously. The associated symptoms are conjunctival edema with cloudy appearance of the cornea. There may also be presence of retinal hemorrhages.
How Is Bacterial Endophthalmitis Diagnosed?
A diagnosis of Bacterial Endophthalmitis is made by doing a slit-lamp examination. An ultrasound may also help in diagnosing the disease. The best approach to confirm Bacterial Endophthalmitis is by taking a sample of vitreous and sending them for cultures which basically pins down the diagnosis of Bacterial Endophthalmitis. A Polymerase chain reaction may be done to differentiate between a fungal or bacterial cause for Endophthalmitis.
What Are Treatments For Bacterial Endophthalmitis?
The first line of treatment for Bacterial Endophthalmitis is injection of antibiotic directly into the vitreous or a procedure called as vitrectomy, especially in acute cases of Bacterial Endophthalmitis. The overall outcome of treatment and the damage done to the vision depends on the type of bacteria causing the infection and the degree of damage done to the eye and also how soon the treatment is started. If initial therapy measures do not give desired results then intravitreal injections may have to be repeated. If an individual receives prompt and appropriate treatment, then the individual may recover most of the vision. Steroids may also be administered in some cases when it is confirmed that there is no fungal involvement.