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Antifungal Eye Drops: Treatment for Fungal Eye Infections

Some types of eye infections are caused by fungus. Antifungal eye drops are often the best method for treating these types of infections.

Antifungal eye drops are not the same as over-the-counter eye drops. These eye drops are not intended to clear red eyes or moisten the eyes. Their primary purpose is to clear a fungal infection.

What Are Antifungal Eye Drops? 

Antifungal medication has been shown to be effective for fungal infections that affect the outer eye layer. Fungi that often cause these sorts of infections include aspergillus and fusarium.

There are two primary types of fungal eye infections:

Fungal eye infections are common following injuries. For example, if a stick or thorn impacts the eye, plant materials can get into the eye and cause a fungal eye infection. 

Antifungal eye drops are one method of treatment that can help to get rid of a fungal eye infection.

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Common Types of Fungi That Cause Eye Infections 

Common types of fungi involved in eye infections include fusarium, aspergillus, and candida, among others.


Fusarium is often found on plants and in soil.


Aspergillus is found in both indoor and outdoor settings and environments.


Candida is a yeast that lives on human skin and in the protective lining inside the body.

What Are the Top Causes of Fungi in Your Eye?

A fungal eye infection is the result of being exposed in some way to a fungus. This often occurs via eye injury, but it can also occur during other situations like eye surgery.

Other common causes of fungi in the eye include eye disease, contact lenses, and contaminated medical products. Additional contributing factors are a fungal infection that affects the bloodstream, diabetes, or a weakened immune system. 

Types of Antifungal Eye Drops

Antifungal eye drops can be broken down into two categories:

  • Prescription eye drops
  • Over-the-counter (OTC) eye drops

Prescription Antifungal Eye Drops

You’ll have to consult with an eye care professional before getting prescription antifungal eye drops. There are different kinds of eye drops that are used for fungal eye infections.

Fungal infections that affect the outer layer of the eye (fungal keratitis) can be treated with natamycin eye drops.

Infections that are deeper and more severe will usually necessitate professional treatment in addition to eye drops. In many cases, topical natamycin is prescribed and used alongside other antifungal medications, such as fluconazole or amphotericin B. 

OTC Antifungal Eye Drops

OTC antifungal eye drops are available. However, it’s a good idea to consult with an experienced eye doctor before trying over-the-counter antifungal eye drops. Fungal eye infections can often be deceptively severe, and avoiding professional treatment can put an individual at risk of vision loss and blindness.

When Do Doctors Prescribe Eye Drops for Fungi?

If you experience a fungal eye infection and see your eye doctor, they will perform an exam in order to determine the site of the infection. They may also take a tissue sample or fluid from the eye. 

Your doctor may prescribe antifungal eye drops if you’re experiencing an infection that affects the outer layer of the eye.

Are There Serious Side Effects to Antifungal Eye Drops? 

Overall, antifungal eye drops are widely viewed as effective and safe.

Just as with many other forms of prescription medications, antifungal eye drops and other forms of antifungal antibiotics come with the possibility of side effects, though these are generally not severe. Common side effects associated with antifungal eye drops include mild irritation and discomfort.

There is also the possibility of more severe side effects. In such cases, this could be an indication of an allergic reaction. If you experience a rash, itching, swelling, dizziness, difficulty breathing, or any other side effects that are more severe than mild irritation, get in touch with a doctor as soon as possible. 

If you experience severe side effects, stop using antifungal eye drops until you are able to see a doctor and determine the cause of the symptoms. If you have an allergic reaction to antifungal eye drops, alternative treatment options may be available. Consult your doctor for the best next steps.


  1. Voriconazole Eye Drops: Enhanced Solubility and Stability through Ternary Voriconazole/Sulfobutyl Ether β-Cyclodextrin/Polyvinyl Alcohol Complexes. (January 2023). International Journal of Molecular Sciences.

  2. Fungal Keratitis. (August 2022). StatPearls.

  3. Antifungal Antibiotics. (March 2023). StatPearls.

  4. Fungal and Parasitic Infections of the Eye. (October 2000). Clinical Microbiology Reviews.

  5. Fungal Keratitis: Study of Increasing Trend and Common Determinants. (June 2017). Nepal Journal of Epidemiology.

  6. Fungal Endophthalmitis. (June 2022). StatPearls.

  7. Clinical Analysis of Fungal Keratitis in Patients With and Without Diabetes. (May 2018). PLOS ONE.

  8. Natamycin in the Treatment of Fungal Keratitis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. (June 2015). International Journal of Ophthalmology.

  9. Treatment of Endogenous Fungal Endophthalmitis: Focus on New Antifungal Agents. (March 2011). Clinical Infectious Disease.

  10. Fungal Eye Infection Blinds Over Half a Million in One Eye a Year. (October 2020). The University of Manchester.

  11. The Global Incidence and Diagnosis of Fungal Keratitis. (March 2021). The Lancet: Infectious Diseases

Last Updated May 24, 2023

Note: This page should not serve as a substitute for professional medical advice from a doctor or specialist. Please review our about page for more information.

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