Blindness and Cats

Blindness caused by untreated eye infections

In cats, eye infections are treatable; however, severe eye infections and untreated eye infections can result in permanent blindness. In addition to the risk of blindness, eye infections cause excruciating discomfort and pain. It is therefore critical that cats with eye infections receive veterinary care.

The most common eye infection in cats is conjunctivitis. The infection causes inflammation of the conjunctiva, which is the pink membrane that lines the inside of the eyelids and the outside of the eyeball (see picture). Conjunctivitis, if left untreated, can cause eye damage, vision loss, and blindness.

Injuries to the eye or foreign objects in the eye can both cause eye infections (eg, dirt, sand). Newborn kittens may develop eye infections as a result of the mother’s vaginal infection at the time of birth, as well as being born in an unsanitary environment.

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