What is endophthalmitis

Endophthalmitis - dangerous infection of the eye


Endophthalmitis is an inflammatory reaction in the eye that spreads extremely quickly and can threaten eyesight. The cause is often an injury to the eye or an infection with pathogens. It is important that treatment is started as soon as possible.


Endophthalmitis is a rare but very serious inflammatory infection in the eye. In many cases it leads to vision loss and must therefore be treated immediately. In the worst case, the affected eye even has to be removed in the case of endophthalmitis. Endophthalmitis can result exogenous or endogenous factors caused. Exogenous factors are those that act on the body from the outside, while endogenous factors act in the body itself.

The exogenous endophthalmitis manifests itself in a Corneal infection and is almost always caused by an injury to the eye. For example, it can occur after operations on the eye if the very high requirements for sterility have not been met. In around one in 700 cases, endophthalmitis occurs after cataract surgery with symptoms such as severe pain and visual disturbances. A cataract, a clouding of the lens of the eye, is also known as a "cataract".

The endogenous endophthalmitis on the other hand is a Follow-up infection and stems from pathogens affecting other organs in the body. Such pathogens can be bacteria, viruses or fungi, for example. They reach the eye via the bloodstream and trigger the infection there. People whose immune system is weakened, for example due to diseases such as diabetes or AIDS, are particularly susceptible to endogenous endophthalmia.

Course of endophthalmitis

The infection usually spreads very quickly because the vitreous humor of the eye has very little immune defense. Therefore, after a short time Eyesight threatened and be impaired. If the endophthalmitis is not treated promptly, eyesight can no longer be maintained. Surgical intervention on the vitreous humor is sometimes necessary. It can also become a chronic infection come that permanently restricts eyesight.

Overall, the prognosis for endophthalmitis is extremely poor.

Endophthalmitis - Symptoms and Warning Signs

The infection often goes with a lot severe dull pain in the eye hand in hand. In addition, the Conjunctiva swell and a strong one Redness of the eye occur. Visual acuity is usually also affected. In the event of these or similar symptoms, action must be taken immediately.

The symptoms of endophthalmitis are also typical of a variety of eye diseases, several of which can threaten the eyesight. If you notice one or more of these symptoms, you should Do not postpone a visit to the doctor.

Diagnosis and therapy of endophthalmitis

In the case of endophthalmitis, it is particularly important that the diagnosis is made correctly, as only then the correct one Treatment as soon as possible can be initiated. The pathogens of endophthalmitis can be detected in the aqueous humor or in the vitreous humor of the eye.

Endophthalmitis therapy aims to prevent the infection from spreading and to fight the inflammation itself. To be Antibiotics used, both locally directly in or on the eye (for example in the form of eye drops) and systemically (for example with a broad spectrum antibiotic in tablet form). Treatment must be immediate, ideally within hours. The earlier therapy begins, the more favorable the prognosis.

If the infection cannot be stopped in this way, a final therapy for endophthalmitis is one Vitrectomy, an operation that removes parts of the vitreous humor.