Retinal Infection

What Is a Retinal Infection (Endophthalmitis)?

Endophthalmitis is an infection of the tissues or fluids inside the eyeball that can permanently damage the retina. It is a medical emergency that should be addressed as soon as possible. If you are experiencing the symptoms below, it is crucial to seek treatment immediately, as endophthalmitis can lead to blindness if left untreated.

Symptoms of Retinal Infection

The most common symptoms of endophthalmitis are:


  • Eye pain that worsens after surgery, injection, or injury
  • Eye redness
  • White or yellow pus or discharge from the eyes
  • Swollen or puffy eyelids
  • Blurry vision
  • Loss of vision

What Causes Retinal Infection?

There are two main types of endophthalmitis:

Exogenous Endophthalmitis – The most common type of endophthalmitis. It is caused by an infection outside of the body, such as bacteria or fungi, that get inside the eye. This can be a result of eye injuries or certain eye surgeries and procedures.

Endogenous Endophthalmitis – An infection that starts in another part of the body but eventually spreads to the eye, such as a urinary tract infection, bone infection, or blood infection.


Your ophthalmologist will perform tests to diagnose your symptoms, including examining your eye and testing your vision. They will also ask you about recent surgeries, eye procedures or injuries, and may perform an ultrasound to identify any foreign objects in the eye.

If your ophthalmologist suspects an infection, an aqueous/vitreous tap will be conducted. This involves using a very fine needle to draw fluid out of your eye to send it to a laboratory for testing.

What Are the Treatment Options for Retinal Infections?

Treatment for endophthalmitis typically involves an injection of antibiotics or antifungal medicine into the eye. You may also receive a steroid to decrease swelling and inflammation caused by the infection. Serious infections may require vitrectomy surgery, during which the vitreous gel is removed from your eye and medicine is injected to treat the infection.

Retinal Infection Treatment at Dean McGee Eye Institute

The retinal and vitreous specialists at the Dean McGee Eye Institute are leading providers of treatment for retina and vitreous diseases, including treatment for retinal infections. If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms consistent with endophthalmitis, it is crucial that you contact us immediately to schedule an appointment for diagnosis. Delaying treatment may result in vision loss in the affected eye. Please call 405.271.1092 or 800.787.9014 to make an appointment. We are here to help with physicians available 24/7.