What are the symptoms of a chlamydia eye infection?

A person infected with the bacteria that causes chlamydia, a sexually transmitted disease, can also develop an eye infection, called chlamydial conjunctivitis. The most common symptom, as with many eye diseases, is redness in one or both eyes. Other common symptoms include unusual discharge, impaired vision, and swollen eyelids.

In many cases, a person diagnosed with a chlamydial eye infection will have had symptoms for several weeks before an accurate diagnosis is made, primarily because the symptoms are similar to many other eye infections. This type of infection causes red, irritated, and tearing eyes, along with pus-like discharge or mucus. However, these symptoms are not unique.

In many cases, the discharge from the eye or eyes is so severe that the eyelashes will draw together and the eyelids will appear closed. Also, the eyelids may be swollen. The swelling can be quite extreme and can make it difficult for a person to open their eyes. Many people complain that their vision is also blurry. Unlike some eye infections, a chlamydia eye infection can infect one or both eyes.

Even after a medical professional looks at the eye or eyes and analyzes the symptoms, a person can be misdiagnosed. In most cases, the patient will be given antibiotic drops to be applied to the eyes for several weeks. If there is no improvement during that time, chlamydia may be considered, especially if an adult has had risky sexual content prior to the eye infection.

In rare cases, the eye infection will be so severe that the cornea may have ulcers and the iris may appear infected. Under those circumstances, a medical professional can better diagnose the condition. Unfortunately, if the symptoms have become so severe, the affected person's eyesight may be damaged.

Although chlamydia is a sexually transmitted disease, it doesn't just affect adults. Some newborn babies can get the condition if their mothers gave birth to them when they were infected with the disease. It is usually treated with a strong oral antibiotic, rather than eye drops.

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