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Eye Infection Treatment in Canberra

pink eye infection canberra

Are you aware of the potential dangers of failing to seek eye infection treatment and how it can impact your vision long-term? Have you ever wondered if your eye infection requires professional treatment, or if it will simply go away on its own? Do you know where to go for eye infection treatment in Canberra?

Contrary to popular belief, over-the-counter eye drops are not always a safe or effective solution for every type of eye infection. In this blog post we are going to explore the many types of eye infections that your optometrist can treat through medical prescriptions.

I’m Juliet Menakaya, the owner and principal optometrist at Junic Eye Care in Canberra. With extensive training and experience in diagnosing and treating eye infections, I understand how uncomfortable and concerning these issues can be. I’m here to provide you with professional, compassionate care to help you achieve and maintain optimal eye health. As a therapeutically qualified optometrist, I can prescribe effective topical medications to treat your eye infections, ensuring you receive the best possible care tailored to your needs.

Taking proactive steps in managing your eye health can lead to better overall well-being and reduced healthcare costs in the long run. But untreated eye infections can spread and become more difficult to manage, increasing the risk of chronic eye conditions.

Don’t wait until things become worse; book an appointment with Junic Eye Care today and get the professional eye care treatment you need. I also encourage you to stay informed and discover valuable tips and insights on eye infection treatment by continuing to read this article.


Understanding Eye Infection Treatment in Canberra

What should you do if your eyes start to feel uncomfortable or look red and swollen? Eye infections can be both irritating and concerning, especially when you are unsure of the cause. In Canberra, it’s important to have access to professional eye care to address these issues promptly and effectively.

Eye infections can stem from various sources, including bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites. Each type of infection requires a specific approach to treatment, which highlights the necessity of seeking professional advice. At Junic Eye Care, we prioritise accurate diagnosis and effective treatment plans tailored to your specific condition. The aim is to alleviate symptoms quickly and prevent any potential complications that could affect your vision long-term.

Bacterial Conjunctivitis

Bacterial infections are a prevalent cause of eye issues, often resulting from common bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pneumoniae. These infections can lead to bacterial conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye. Bacterial conjunctivitis typically presents with thick, yellow-green discharge.

Prompt treatment is crucial for bacterial eye infections to prevent complications, spreading the contagion to others and ensure a swift recovery. Antibiotic eye drops or ointments are commonly prescribed, helping to eliminate the infection and relieve symptoms effectively.

Viral Conjunctivitis

Viral conjunctivitis is the most common variant of pink eye, often linked to adenoviruses but also can be caused by other viruses. These include herpes simplex virus (HSV1 and HSV2) and varicella zoster virus (the virus responsible for chicken pox and shingles). Adenoviral conjunctivitis is also highly contagious and can spread rapidly, particularly in close-contact environments like schools and offices. Symptoms typically include redness, watery discharge, and irritation, which can be quite uncomfortable and is usually present in both eyes.

Unlike bacterial infections, viral eye infections do not respond to antibiotics. Instead, the focus is on relieving symptoms while the infection runs its course. Antiviral medications might be necessary in severe cases, and maintaining good hygiene practices is vital.

Allergic Conjunctivitis

Allergic conjunctivitis occurs when the eye’s conjunctiva reacts to allergens such as pollen, dust mites, pet dander, or mould. This condition causes redness, itching, and tearing, often accompanied by swelling of the eyelids. Unlike bacterial or viral conjunctivitis, allergic conjunctivitis is not contagious.

Treatment involves avoiding known allergens and using antihistamine eye drops to reduce symptoms. In more severe cases, optometrists may recommend anti-inflammatory medications. Maintaining a clean environment and using air purifiers can help prevent flare-ups. Regular eye check-ups ensure proper management and relief from this uncomfortable but manageable condition.

To learn more about conjunctivitis watch the following video from Dr Joseph Allen.

Fungal Infections

Fungal infections of the eye, though uncommon, can be particularly severe and challenging to treat. Fungal infections often result from trauma to the eye involving organic matter, such as a branch or soil, which introduces fungi like Fusarium or Aspergillus. Symptoms may include redness, pain, blurred vision, and discharge.


Blepharitis is an inflammation of the eyelids that often results in redness, swelling, and flaky skin around the lashes. This condition can be caused by bacterial infections, malfunctioning oil glands, or skin conditions like dandruff or rosacea. People with blepharitis may experience itching, burning sensations, excessive tearing, and crusting of the eyelids, especially upon waking.

Managing blepharitis typically involves maintaining good eyelid hygiene. Regularly cleaning the eyelids with a mild cleanser can help remove crusts and reduce inflammation. In some cases, antibiotic or anti-inflammatory eye drops may be prescribed to control bacterial infection and alleviate symptoms.


Keratitis is an inflammation of the cornea, the clear, dome-shaped surface that covers the front of the eye. This condition can be caused by bacterial, viral, fungal, or parasitic infections, and is often associated with improper contact lens hygiene or eye trauma. Symptoms of keratitis include severe eye pain, redness, blurred vision, sensitivity to light, and excessive tearing.

Prompt treatment is crucial to prevent complications and potential vision loss. Depending on the cause, keratitis may be treated with antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, or antiparasitic medications. Maintaining strict hygiene practices with contact lenses and seeking immediate medical attention for any eye injuries are essential preventive measures.


Uveitis is an inflammation of the uvea, the middle layer of the eye that includes the iris, ciliary body, and choroid. This condition can arise from infections, autoimmune disorders, or trauma. Symptoms often include eye redness, pain, blurred vision, and sensitivity to light. If left untreated, uveitis can lead to serious complications such as glaucoma, cataracts, or retinal damage.

Treatment for uveitis typically involves corticosteroid eye drops or oral medications to reduce inflammation. In some cases, immunosuppressive drugs may be required. Early diagnosis and treatment are critical to manage symptoms effectively and preserve vision.


Endophthalmitis is a rare but severe eye infection that affects the interior of the eye, typically following surgery, trauma, or as a result of an infection spreading from another part of the body. Symptoms are intense and can include severe eye pain, redness, significant vision loss, and swelling of the eyelids. Immediate medical attention is crucial to prevent permanent vision damage.

Treatment usually involves intravitreal antibiotics, administered directly into the eye, and may also require vitrectomy surgery to remove infected vitreous gel. Due to the severity of endophthalmitis, prompt diagnosis and aggressive treatment are essential to save vision.


Styes, or hordeolums, are painful, red lumps that form on the edge of the eyelid, usually caused by bacterial infections of the oil glands. These small abscesses can cause swelling, tenderness, and discomfort around the affected area. Styes often resemble pimples and may be filled with pus.

Most styes heal on their own within a week, but applying warm compresses several times a day can help speed up the process by promoting drainage. Maintaining good eyelid hygiene is crucial to prevent recurrence. In persistent or severe cases, antibiotic ointments or eye drops may be necessary to eliminate the infection.

infected eyelid canberra

Role of Optometrists in Eye Infection Treatment

Optometrists play a vital role in diagnosing and treating eye infections. Through comprehensive eye exams and specialised equipment, they accurately identify the cause of your symptoms. Optometrists can prescribe effective medications and collaborate with other healthcare providers when necessary, ensuring you receive the best possible care for your eye health.

Diagnostic Capabilities

Optometrists have advanced diagnostic capabilities to identify eye infections accurately. Comprehensive eye exams, along with specialised equipment like slit-lamp microscopes and imaging technologies, allow them to detect the precise cause of your symptoms. This thorough approach ensures that you receive an accurate diagnosis and the most effective treatment plan.

Therapeutic Qualifications

While over-the-counter (OTC) non-prescription solutions can provide quick comfort, they are generally not a long-term fix. Some (but not all) optometrists are qualified to prescribe topical medications such as antibiotics, antivirals, and anti-inflammatory drops to treat various eye infections. Their training enables them to manage and alleviate symptoms effectively. Additionally, they can coordinate with other healthcare providers to ensure comprehensive care, addressing all aspects of your eye health needs.

Limitations in Treatment

While optometrists can prescribe topical treatments for eye infections, they are limited in prescribing oral or injectable medications. For severe infections requiring such treatments, they collaborate with ophthalmologists or other healthcare professionals to provide comprehensive care, ensuring you receive the most appropriate and effective intervention.

Preventive Measures and Hygiene Practices

Importance of Good Hygiene

Maintaining good hygiene is crucial for preventing eye infections. Regular hand washing and avoiding eye contact with dirty hands or objects can prevent bacteria and viruses from causing infections. Proper cleaning and care of contact lenses are also essential to avoid introducing pathogens into your eyes. These practices help protect your eyes from infections and maintain overall eye health.

Other Preventive Strategies

Preventive strategies for eye infections include using protective eyewear in dusty or polluted environments, avoiding the sharing of personal eye care products, and ensuring proper lens hygiene for contact lens users. Regularly cleaning your eyelids and lashes can also help prevent infections like blepharitis. Adopting these habits can significantly reduce your risk of developing eye infections and promote long-term eye health.

Special Considerations for Kids and Adults

Treating eye infections in children and adults requires different approaches. For kids, infections like conjunctivitis are common, and child-friendly treatments are essential. In adults, symptoms may vary, and the treatment plan often includes regular eye check-ups to monitor eye health. Ensuring appropriate, age-specific care helps in effective management and quicker recovery for both children and adults.

Treating Children with Eye Infections

Treating eye infections in children requires a gentle, effective approach. Common paediatric infections like conjunctivitis are managed with child-friendly antibiotic drops or antihistamines. Ensuring hygiene and teaching kids to avoid touching their eyes can prevent infections. Regular check-ups and prompt treatment help maintain their eye health and prevent complications.

Managing Eye Infections in Adults

In adults, eye infections can present with varying symptoms and may require more comprehensive management. Regular eye check-ups are crucial for early detection and treatment. Antibiotics, antivirals, or antifungals are often prescribed based on the infection type. Maintaining good hygiene and following the treatment plan ensures effective recovery and long-term eye health.


Eye infections can be caused by various factors, including bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites and allergens, and require professional diagnosis and management. Common symptoms of include redness, discharge, light sensitivity, and blurred vision, which should prompt a visit to an optometrist for eye infection treatment.

Relying on ineffective over-the-counter remedies can lead to a worsening of the infection and cause additional discomfort and health problems. That’s why it is often better to seek an ophthalmic prescriber such as myself ie. an optometrist endorsed to prescribe some ophthalmic medications.

Ensuring your eyes are healthy and infection-free is just a call away. Schedule your appointment with Junic Eye Care and experience peace of mind.

To visit our optometry practice, click the “Book Online” button at the top of the page or call (02) 6152 8585 today.

You’ll find our clinic conveniently located in the Molonglo Health Hub, just a short 10 minute drive from central Canberra, with plenty of free parking when you get here.

Author: Juliet Menakaya, O.D MPH

CANBERRA OPTOMETRIST Juliet obtained her Doctor of Optometry degree from the University of Benin, Nigeria in 2006. She completed an internship programme before migrating to Australia, where she completed a master’s degree in public health at the University of Sydney in 2014. Following this, Juliet obtained a Master of Orthoptics from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) in 2017. Juliet has completed her competency in optometry examination with OCANZ (Optometry Council of Australia and New Zealand), and obtained her ophthalmic prescribing rights from ACO (Australian College Of Optometry Victoria). Juliet has worked in various positions, including retail Optometry, the Ophthalmology Department at Canberra Hospital, and more recently, at the John Curtin School of Medical Research (ANU). As a dedicated Canberra optometrist, Juliet is passionate about helping people with low vision, and binocular vision anomalies hence her interests in Low Vision Rehabilitation, Eccentric Viewing Training and Paediatric optometry.