Fungal Eye Infections Risk & Prevention
Who gets fungal eye infections?
- Eye injury, particularly with plant matter (for example, thorns or sticks)
- Eye surgery (most commonly, cataract surgery)
- Chronic eye disease involving the surface of the eye
- Wearing contact lenses
- Exposure to contaminated medical products that come in contact with the eye
- Fungal bloodstream infection (like candidemia)
In addition to the risk factors listed above, people who have diabetes, weakened immune system, or use corticosteroids may be more likely to develop fungal eye infections than people without these conditions.3,4
How can I prevent a fungal eye infection?
- Protective eyewear is recommended for people who are at risk for eye injuries involving plant matter, such as agricultural workers.
- People who wear contact lenses should make sure to follow proper contact lens care practices. For contact lens care tips, please visit CDC’s Healthy Contact Lens Wear and Care webpage.
- Thomas PA, Kaliamurthy J. Mycotic keratitis: epidemiology, diagnosis and management. Clin Microbiol Infect 2013;19:210-20.
- Bharathi MJ, Ramakrishnan R, Vasu S, Meenakshi R, Palaniappan R. Epidemiological characteristics and laboratory diagnosis of fungal keratitis. A three-year study. Indian J Ophthalmol 2003;51:315-21.
- Weissman BA, Mondino BJ. Risk factors for contact lens associated microbial keratitis. Cont Lens Anterior Eye. 2002 Mar;25(1):3-9.
- Keay LJ, Gower EW, Iovieno A, Oechsler RA, Alfonso EC, Matoba A, et al. Clinical and microbiological characteristics of fungal keratitis in the United States, 2001-2007: a multicenter study. Ophthalmology. 2011 May;118(5):920-6.
- Page last reviewed: January 30, 2017
- Page last updated: December 24, 2015
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