This page provides information about a rare condition that might occur following an eye operation, procedures or an injury to the eye. Endophthalmitis is treated as an emergency.

What is endophthalmitis?

Endophthalmitis is an inflammation of the internal eye tissues, most commonly caused by an infection.

How will I know that I have endophthalmitis?

If you have recently had an operation on your eye, a procedure such as an intravitreal injection or an injury toyour eye and you experience any of the following symptoms, please report immediately to your nearest eye accident and emergency department:

  • Redness
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Vision reduction
  • Pain

The earlier the eye is treated, the better the recovery.

The dangers of endophthalmitis

The main danger is the risk of eyesight being reduced or lost if treatment is not started as early as possible.

Possible endophthalmitis treatment

To find out what is causing endophthalmitis, samples of the fluid from inside your eye will be taken and sent to a laboratory for tests.

Antibiotics will be instilled into your eye and antibiotic drops and tablets will be prescribed for you.

It is important that you complete the course of antibiotic treatment as prescribed. If you experience any difficulties with this speak to your doctor immediately.

If the infection is very severe, you could be admitted into hospital for more intensive treatment such as intravenous antibiotics.

How long will the treatment take?

Your eye will be checked every day and you might need to stay in hospital overnight. When you are discharged, you will be given a date for a follow-up appointment. It is important that you attend this appointment. Once at home, you will need to keep taking the medications prescribed for you (drops and /or tablets) until the doctor tells you to stop.

Potential long term side effects

Loss of some vision can occur, but blindness is rare.

What will the follow-up procedure involve?

In some cases, treatment could require an operation to remove the infected fluid in the back of the eye.

Subsequent follow-up appointments will depend on the severity of the condition and your response to the treatment. If appropriate, you could be referred to your local eye clinic for follow-up care.

If you require any further advice or information about endophthalmitis, please do not hesitate to contact the infection control team on 020 7253 3411 ext 2539.

Author: Infection control team

Review date: June 2021