Fungal conjunctivitis - signs, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment

This pathology is characterized by inflammation of the mucous membrane of the eye and is caused by a fungal infection. Fungal conjunctivitis is sluggish and has few symptoms, and the disease often affects only one eye (as in the photo below). The risk group includes people who use contact lenses and children who have a habit of touching their face with dirty hands. Candidiasis of the eye is difficult to treat, so it requires an integrated approach and a careful selection of medications.

What is fungal conjunctivitis

This is ophthalmic mycosis, which is characterized by subacute or chronic inflammation of the conjunctiva of the eyelids and eyes caused by pathogenic fungi. Depending on the type of pathogen, it can have a purulent or catarrhal form. The patient may experience the formation of nodules or films on the mucous organ of vision. In some cases, fungal conjunctivitis passes into keratoconjunctivitis. Infection occurs for various reasons, and pathogens live on the eyelids, lacrimal ducts, in the conjunctival sac or fall on the shell of the eyeball from the outside.


The fungus in the eyes is part of the microflora of the conjunctival cavity and normally does not cause an inflammatory process. About 50 species of fungi are considered pathogenic for the organs of vision, including their parasitic types, such as Coccidioides immitis, Pennicillium viridans, Actinomicetes, Sporotrichum. Exudative forms, which are characterized by purulent discharge, are caused by yeast-like fungi - Candida albicans and Aspergillus. Sources of infection include water, soil, sick people, or animals.

People with diabetes, skin mycosis, caries, HIV-infected, long-term use of antibiotics or hormonal drugs have an increased risk of developing the disease. The ingestion of a fungal infection on the conjunctiva is facilitated by:

  • eye radiation burns;
  • microtrauma of the mucosa;
  • mycotic blepharitis;
  • the use of contact lenses in violation of the rules for their use or storage.


The primary symptoms of the disease are redness of the eyeballs, mild burning and / or itching, and increased tearing. As conjunctivitis develops rapidly, the clinical picture is quickly supplemented by other symptoms, including:

  • sharp reaction to light;
  • increased itching, burning;
  • redness of the skin around the eye (conjunctival hyperemia);
  • conjunctival edema;
  • the formation of nodular infiltrates, which open up over time, due to which mucous discharge appears;
  • in the morning there is a crust in the corners of the eyes (as in the photo);
  • the appearance of purulent ulcers on the conjunctiva with a greenish coating;
  • in the conjunctival region, yellow or gray films are noticeable, which are easily removed.

Against the background of the main pathology (conjunctivitis of the fungal type), people often develop purulent lymphadenitis, in which an additional clinical picture appears. Symptoms in this case are:

  • drowsiness, malaise;
  • weakness;
  • headaches;
  • slightly elevated temperature, which is accompanied by chills and bouts of fever;
  • compaction, soreness of the regional lymph node;
  • loss of appetite;
  • redness of the skin near the inflamed lymph node.


Any conjunctivitis, if untreated in a timely manner, can lead to the spread of the inflammatory process to the deep-lying structures of the organ of vision. In addition, fungal conjunctivitis threatens with the formation of ulcers and lesions of the cornea with further formation of scars. Ultimately, this can result in a decrease in vision up to complete blindness. A prolonged course of the disease can cause deformation of the edges and inversion of the eyelids.


Recognition of eye diseases is the work of an ophthalmologist. To confirm the diagnosis, an examination and laboratory identification of the pathogen of inflammation is carried out. In addition to external symptoms, a deterioration in the patient's condition during antibiotic or glucocorticosteroid therapy may indicate a fungal infection of the eyes. Mycosis detection is carried out using the following diagnostic methods:

  • the study of scraping from the conjunctiva;
  • Back sowing of the separated substance on nutrient media.


Therapy of acute fungal conjunctivitis requires local and systemic use of antimycotic drugs. The doctor prescribes instillations into the conjunctival cavity of such solutions as Natamycin, Nystatin, Amphotericin B. Fungistatic and fungicidal preparations in the form of ointments and drops are made extemporaneously (on order at the pharmacy).

To cure the fungus in the eyes, a systemic antifungal drug, for example, Itraconazole or Fluconazole, is used. With extensive inflammation, the patient is shown the intravenous administration of Amphotericin B. On average, treatment takes 4-6 weeks, and it necessarily passes under the supervision of an ophthalmologist. After a complete clinical recovery, conjunctival scrapings are re-taken. This is necessary to confirm the patient’s recovery and to exclude the transition of the pathology to the latent form.

Local treatment

With the development of bacterial conjunctivitis, antibiotics in the form of drops are prescribed for the treatment of pathology (0.25% solution of chloramphenicol, sodium sulfacyl). If fungal diseases of the eyes are accompanied by abundant secretions, the conjunctival sac is washed with solutions of furatsilin, potassium permanganate and oletetrine ointment is placed in it (a couple of times a day for severe process, once for mild).

Antibacterial drops

For therapy, special antibiotics are used in the form of drops, which affect mainly the mucous membrane of the eyes and practically do not enter the bloodstream. This contributes to the preservation of normal microflora of the whole organism with intensive antibacterial treatment of the organs of vision. With conjunctivitis, the doctor may prescribe one of the following topical preparations:

  1. Albucid. The drug inhibits the growth of bacterial flora, including fungi, streptococci, gonococci, chlamydia, etc. It is produced in a concentration of 20 and 30%. Use drops up to 6 times a day, instilling 2-3 drops. The main contraindication of Albucid is an allergic reaction to sulfacetamide. The disadvantage of the drug is a burning sensation in the eyes during use.
  2. Tobrex. The active component of the drug is the antibiotic tobramycin, which has a wide spectrum of action. The product is characterized by a bacteriostatic effect in relation to E. coli, staphylococci, streptococci, fungi, etc. In the acute course of fungal conjunctivitis, drops are applied every 4 hours. The downside of Tobrex is edema, allergy, redness of the eyeball, eyelids when using the drug. In addition, an allergic reaction to the drug occurs relatively often.

Eye ointments

The presence of any form of eye disease requires a comprehensive diagnosis and therapy, which the ophthalmologist selects. Treatment of fungal conjunctivitis includes the use of eye ointments. Effective among them are:

  1. Tetracycline ointment. The composition of the drug includes the antibiotic tetracycline, which is practically not adsorbed into the blood when applied topically. An ointment for bacterial and fungal conjunctivitis is prescribed. The advantage of the drug is maximum safety, therefore, it is possible to carry out treatment with Tetracycline ointment even during pregnancy. The disadvantage of the drug is a ban on the use of children under 8 years old.
  2. Torbex. The ointment is optimal if necessary to quickly remove the symptoms of the disease. The drug contains tobramycin, which can be used to treat children. Torbex is used to treat eye infections, keratitis, barley, endophthalmitis, aspergillosis and other fungal infections of the organ of vision. The great advantage of the ointment is that it is allowed to treat even newborns, starting from 2 months of age.

Folk remedies

According to ophthalmologists, it is not possible to cure a fungal eye disease with folk remedies alone, but with their help it is possible to reduce the intensity of the symptoms of conjunctivitis. Effective medications that are recommended to supplement the main therapy include:

  1. Drops with aloe juice from conjunctivitis of the fungal type. Freshly squeezed liquid is diluted with boiled water 2: 1 and instilled into the affected eye 2-4 times a day. The tool helps to eliminate swelling and pain.
  2. Lotions of chamomile infusion. To prepare a decoction, 1 tbsp. l Pour flowers in a glass of boiling water and insist 30 minutes. The liquid is filtered and moistened with cotton swabs, which are immediately applied to the eyelids. Such a tool is useful both for fungal conjunctivitis and allergic, in addition, it has an antiviral property, cleanses the lacrimal ducts, relieves redness, and swelling.


Any disease is much easier to prevent than to treat. To do this, several important preventive measures should be followed, including the following:

  • do not use other people's towels, scarves;
  • in dusty rooms, regions it is always necessary to wear safety glasses;
  • when wearing contact lenses, you must follow the rules for caring for them (when infected with fungal conjunctivitis, old lenses must either be replaced with new ones or treated carefully with medications);
  • It is important to regularly strengthen the immune system (sports, proper nutrition, hardening, etc.), since eye infections begin to develop when it decreases.

Photo of eye fungus

Attention! The information presented in the article is for guidance only. Materials of the article do not call for independent treatment. Only a qualified doctor can make a diagnosis and give recommendations for treatment based on the individual characteristics of a particular patient.

Watch the video: Conjunctivitis, pink eye, virus or bacteria, eye infection - A State of Sight #35 (April 2020).