Sexually Transmitted Diseases are highly contagious infections that can cause severe damage to your organs and fertility if not addressed in the early stages. STD symptoms can be difficult to differentiate from flu-like symptoms or similar allergies when you see a bump on your skin. STD cases in the US are nearly 20 million new STD cases each year reported from both men and women who fall mostly between the age group of 15-24.
What are STDs?
Sexually Transmitted Diseases are a unique type of infection that primarily spreads from one person to another via sexual contact. Sexually transmitted means they include oral and anal sex too. Some people think oral or anally engaging with your partner is safer than vaginal – however, that is not true. Oral and vaginal can be as equally transmissible as vaginal sex.
There are various types of STDs that are caused by different pathogens like bacteria and viruses. According to Healthline, there are more than a dozen types of STDs. However, not all of them are highly common or are seen often in the US. Following are the top 5 STDs that take a major toll on the annual numbers –
STD in Eyes Symptoms
Symptoms of STDs may not show in the early stages of the infection making it difficult to identify and diagnose. This is one of the reasons for the widespread occurrence of STDs in the US and around the globe. According to the World Health Organisation, there are more than a million cases reported each year around the world – yet as many people don’t have the necessary resources to show up for testing, the actual numbers are projected to be even higher.
STD symptoms can appear anywhere on your body. It depends on what type of STD you are infected with and the stage of the disease you are in. For example, Syphilis is bacteria-caused STD that progresses in multiple stages and causes mild symptoms in the early stages and can lead to neurological disorders over the long run if left untreated.
Symptoms of STD in the eyes can be recognized with a few signs and if you have an active sexual history, then you can be highly certain that the symptoms are caused by an STD.
STD in eye symptoms can include –
- A reddish or pink color in the whites of your eyes.
- Eye discomfort – itchy or gritty feeling.
- Discharge from the eye.
- Pain and swelling of the conjunctiva.
- Frequent tear.
- Swollen lymph nodes around eyes.
- Photophobia – uncomfortableness when exposed to bright lighting
- Crusting on your eyelids and eyelashes, more likely to see after sleeping.
When these symptoms occur, conjunctivitis is a common term to identify a similar infection. Eye conjunctivitis can be a sign of STD as certain types of STDs can be the causing agent.
Types of STDs that Infect your Eye
As we discussed earlier, there are more than a dozen types of STDs that can spread via sexual contact. However, not all of them cause eye infections or symptoms around your eye. Following are three types of bacteria STDs that can cause eye symptoms
Chlamydia is caused by a bacteria called “Chlamydia Trachomatis” that causes symptoms like fatigue, genital discharge, sore throat, and redness in your eye. Chlamydia and the symptoms around the eye can be treated with the help of antibiotics. But, if left untreated they can cause long-term health damages like Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) in women and can cause infertility in both men and women.
Chlamydia is caused by another type of bacteria called “Neisseria Gonorrhoeae” that causes symptoms like abdominal pain, genital discharge, an urge to urinate often, and redness in your eye. Gonorrhea and the symptoms around the eye can be treated with the help of antibiotics. This bacteria targets moist and warm areas like genitals, oral, and eyes as their primary infection-causing areas as the environment are more suitable and adaptable to the bacteria to manipulate.
Syphilis is caused by a bacteria called “Treponema Pallidum”. Symptoms of Syphilis include fatigue, weight loss, syphilis chancre (commonly known as “sores”), and skin rashes. Pregnant women with syphilis STD can easily spread it to their baby during birth which is called Congenital Syphilis.
STD in the eyes is primarily caused by direct exposure to the bacteria like when you touch your eyes after having sex with an infected person without washing your hands.
STD in Eyes Treatment
STD in the eyes can be treated easily, it all needs to be drilled down to the cause – what type of STD is the cause of eye symptoms. Eye symptoms causing STDs are mostly bacterial and can be terminated with the help of antibiotics.
Some STDs are incurable to date, they include HIV, Herpes, and HPV which have viruses as their causing agents. However, they are not a concern for your eyes as bacteria-based STDs are the ones you need to protect your eyes from.
What are the Other Symptoms of STDs?
Symptoms can take weeks or even months to appear, making it difficult to find who actually spread the infection if you have had multiple sex partners in the past. When the symptoms occur, the following are the signs to watch out for –
Symptoms in women
- Unusual vaginal discharge
- Painful urination
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Lower abdominal pain
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
Symptoms in men
- Thick penile discharge
- Burning sensation while urinating
- Swollen testicles
- Anal itching
- Irritation inside the penis
- Painful bowel movements
- Weight loss
- Joint pain
- Sore throat
- Dry cough
- Night sweat
If you suspect of being exposed to STDs as if you have any of the above signs, then get tested for STDs to know for sure and to treat the infections as soon as possible. Unlike other diseases (like flu), they tend not to go away on their own and need external medical supplements like antibiotics to fight against them.