Endophthalmitis means infection deep inside the eye. It is not “red eye” or “pink eye” even though the white part of the eye may be red.

Endophthalmitis represents a serious infection that may take away vision permanently. There are 2 common forms of endophthalmitis:

Post surgical endophthalmitis: patients may develop infection inside the eye after cataract surgery, after an intraocular injection in the office, or after any other type of “in the eye” procedure. The infection may come to attention when the patient experiences floaters, blurry vision, or a painful eye. The infection needs to be treated on an emergency basis. Taking medicines by mouth or using drops does not treat the infection sufficiently. Depending on the individual patient characteristics, we may be able to inject antibiotics into the eye. Some patients, however, may need vitrectomy surgery to clean out the infection from inside the eye.

The second type of endophthalmitis is more rare but equally serious and is called endogenous endophthalmitis. This situation is when infection elsewhere in the body spreads to the eye via the bloodstream. The treatment of endogenous endopthalmitis depends on the individual characteristics of the patient: sometimes we can treat with injections into the eye combined with antibiotics taken in an IV or by mouth, but often we will need to perform surgery.