What is endophthalmitis?

Endophthalmitis (end-op-thal-mitis) is severe inflammation of the inside of the eye. It is a rare condition and is treated as an emergency.

What causes endophthalmitis?

In most cases an infection causes this inflammation which may occur after an eye operation, an eye injury or when infection travels to the eye through the blood, from somewhere else in the body e.g. bladder. The infection can be caused by bacteria, fungi, viruses, or parasites.

How will I know that I have endophthalmitis?

See your Ophthalmologist (eye specialist), doctor or attend an Emergency Department without delay if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Loss of vision
  • Pain
  • Light sensitivity
  • Eye redness
  • Swelling of the eyelid

What does the treatment involve?

The doctor will examine your eyes, take a health history from you and order tests. A procedure called a vitreous tap, may be recommended. This is when a tiny needle is used to take fluid out of the eye which is tested to find the cause of the infection.

Antibiotics may be injected into your eye and antibiotic drops and/or tablets may also be prescribed. If the infection is severe, you will be admitted to hospital for more intensive treatment.

What are the risks of Endophthalmitis?

Permanent reduction or loss of vision.

What will the follow-up procedure involve?

In some cases, treatment may require an operation to remove infected fluid from the eye and you may need to remain in hospital for more intensive treatment. In other cases, you may be sent home on antibiotic treatment with a follow up appointment.

Speak with your doctor or health professional if you require more information.

Disclaimer This document describes the generally accepted practice at the time of publication only. It is only a summary of clinical knowledge regarding this area. The Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital makes no warranty, express or implied, that the information contained in this document is comprehensive. They accept no responsibility for any consequence arising from inappropriate application of this information.

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  • Endophthalmitis #92
  • Owner: Infection Control
  • Last Reviewed: June 4, 2020
  • Next Review: June 4, 2023