Eye disease · Overview

Do antibiotics harm the eyes?

Do antibiotics harm the eyes?

Dr. med. Ken Selde

FMH specialist doctor for ophthalmology and eye surgery


Antibiotics as a pill

Generally, a distinction must be made between the ingestion and superficial drip therapy of antibiotics. The former is answered quickly: There are currently 3 drugs mentioned in the literature for which an impairment of vision or blindness is observed in rare circumstances: Linezolid (Zyvoxid®) and telithromycin (Ketek®) are reserve and special antibiotics, and the antifungal (antimycotic) voriconazol (VFend®). In very rare cases these substances are toxic to the optic nerve. These phenomena are sometimes reversible when discontinuing the drug and only very rarely cause permanent visual damage or even blindness.


Antibiotics as drops

Antibiotics sensibly dripped into the eye are very effective in the treatment of infections or germ-induced diseases. If, very rarely, there is damage to the eye, not the dripped substance but the germ is responsible for this. Causes may be:


  • improper dripping
  • self-treatment without medical assistance
  • expired or even incorrect medication
  • germ resistance


Eyes and antibiotics


Which is why antibiotic eye drops should not be used for every small incident. Consultation with an ophthalmologist is therefore imperative. Do you have further questions or would you like a consultation with our specialists? Contact us now! We are your competent ophthalmologist in Zurich and look forward to your visit.