Dangerous Fungal Eye Infection Causes Concern - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

4/5/06 Tyler

Dangerous Fungal Eye Infection Causes Concern

A dangerous fungal infection is spreading across the country, and it's attacking the eyes. So far, there's no cause for alarm here.

Local eye doctors say they have not seen this in East Texas. The fungus is called Fusarium. Health officials say it's the first time they've seen this in people who wear soft contact lenses.

 Experts say when you wear a contact lense, it creates a little irritation on the surface skin of the eye, making it easier for this fungus to get in and grow. The fungus is most commonly found outside in soil and plants.

"Do the basics," said Ophthalmologist, Doctor Todd Nickel, Heaton Eye Associates. "Wash your hands. If you get debris in your eyes then it's very important to irrigate the eyes with an irrigation solution. If you get a scratch in the cornea, it's very important to see an eye care specialist who can treat it with an antibiotic."

Some symptoms to look for are decreased vision, pain and redness. These are also symptoms of a bacterial infection. Eye doctors say whether it's bacteria, or a fungus it's best to have it treated right away.

Molly Reuter, reporting. mreuter@kltv.com

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