What is Endophthalmitis?

Endophthalmitis is an infection inside the eye that can either be acute or chronic, meaning that it can develop very rapidly which is most common, or develop slowly and persist for long periods of time.


Acute cases of endophthalmitis are caused by gram-positive (or less frequently gram-negative) bacteria and are most often seen within 6 weeks after surgery or trauma to the eye.


Endophthalmitis causes the white of the eye to be inflamed. There may be a white or yellow discharge on or inside the eyelid, and the cornea may show a white cloudiness. There may also be a layer of white cells (hypopyon) present within the anterior chamber of the eye between the iris and the cornea. (Figure 1) Endophthalmitis is usually a very serious problem and prompt examination by an ophthalmologist is essential to make an appropriate diagnosis and initiate treatment.