Eye Infection: Causes, Types, Symptoms, Treatments & Prevention


Eye infection occurs when the harmful microorganisms like bacteria, fungi and viruses come in contact with any part of the eyeball or its surrounding area. There are different types of infections that are caused due to many different reasons in a different part of the eyes. When the eye gets infected in the first step the doctors normally inspect about the infected area of the eye. They try to figure out whether the infection in the different parts of the eye like being in the conjunctiva, the eyelid, the cornea, the liquid inside the eye, the retina and the blood vessels that feed it or the optic nerve.

The most common eye infection is conjunctivitis which is caused due to adenovirus. Adenovirus is a type of common cold virus. Conjunctivitis is also known as pink eye and it is very common in children. This infection is contagious as it can spread from the eye to hands that touch the surfaces and stuff that other people also use. This infection can also occur due to other causes and bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus.


Symptoms of Eye Infection

There are various symptoms from which we can determine the eye infection. Some of the common symptoms are:-

  1. Red eyes
  2. Pain
  3. Eye discharge
  4. Light sensitivity
  5. Dry eyes
  6. Itching
  7. Swollen eyes
  8. Watery eyes
  9. Swelling around the eyes
  10. Blurry vision

The best thing to do when you first suspect an eye infection is to visit the eye doctor and have your eyes examined. The attempt of self-diagnosing may delay the effective treatment and may harm your site. One of the common reasons of eye infection is rubbing the eyes with the unwashed hands. For women, the most common reason is their old makeup which may contain bacteria and other contaminants. So it’s better to use organic and chemical free makeup.


Causes and types of Eye Infection

Here are some examples of causes and types of eye infections:

  • Conjunctivitis or Pinkeye: Conjunctivitis, which is commonly known as pink eye. It is very contagious and often spreads among the children in the classrooms and similar environments. This infection has viral or bacterial origins.
  • Viral Keratitis:  This is the viral eye infection, which occurs due to exposure to the Herpes simplex virus.
  • Fungal Keratitis: The fungal eye infection is caused due to Fusarium fungi, and is commonly found in organic matter.
  • Tacoma: This eye infection is related to Chlamydia trachomatis, which is a leading cause of blindness. This infection gets spread by the flies in the unsanitary environments. The infection occurs in the inner eyelid, which begins to scar. Scarring causes an in-turning of the eyelid and eyelashes begin to brush against the tissue on the cornea and destroys it, which results in permanent blindness.
  • Endophthalmitis: This type of infection occurs due to the penetrating eye injury or as a rare complication of the eye surgery like cataract surgery. A shape that penetrates the eye’s interior part also causes endophthalmitis.

Complications of eye infection

The infection can also affect the interior portions of the upper and lower eyelids to create chalazae. When the eye’s tear glands are invaded by the infection, some inflammatory conditions like dacryostenosis and uveitis can occur.


Inflammation and blockage of the eye’s tear drainage system can be occurred due to infection. Such inflammation and blockage cause dacryocystitis.

A corneal ulcer can be caused due to an infection and if it is left untreated, it may lead to severe vision loss.

Some serious eye infections, which can penetrate deeper into the interior parts of the eye can create sight-threatening conditions such as endophthalmitis.

Treatments for eye infections

The most common bacterial eye infections get treated with the prompt treatment like the prescription of antibiotic eye drops or ointments. Many of the common viral eye infections get treated on their own for the time being. If there is the case of severe viral eye infections then an antiviral eye drop will be prescribed. The treatment underlies the cause of eye infection and some antibiotics or antiviral medications can be orally taken as prescribed by the doctor.

Prevention of Eye infection

  1. Avoid contact with your eye with your unwashed hand. Our hands may come in contact with several common bacteria while shaking hands people in public while walking around the street, which can cause infection in our eye.
  2. Avoid eye contact with someone who is having red eye. If the person having a red eye is a family member then you should keep their bedding and towels clean. You should not let them share those items with anyone else of the family members. Make sure that they wash their hands often.
  3. Teach children to wash their hands often and not to touch their eyes without washing hands. It’s best to not touch the eyes, but in case of rubbing, they should clean their hands before rubbing the eye.
  4. If you wear a contact lens then you should follow the safety tips that are given to you while using it. It’s better to remove contact lens while sleeping because it significantly increases the risk of eye infection. While wearing the contact lens, you should avoid fire. Staying near the fire can melt the contact lens and can damage the eye permanently. It is better to follow all the safety tips for your good hygiene and to prevent eye infection.


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