What are some examples of eye infections

Eye infections: types, symptoms, and treatment

From All About Vision

Eye infections occur when harmful microorganisms - bacteria, fungi, or viruses - enter the eyeball or surrounding tissues. For example in the clear front surface of the eye (cornea) and the thin membrane that lines the outer eye and inner eyelids (conjunctiva).

Symptoms of eye infections

Common symptoms of eye infections include:

Whenever you suspect an eye infection, find yours Ophthalmologist and get an eye exam. Trying to self-diagnose can delay effective treatment and possibly result in permanent vision loss.

If you contact lenses should you wear on one glasses until you have been to your eye doctor or family doctor and received a diagnosis.

There are many different types of eye infections. Your eye doctor or family doctor will need to determine the type of infection in order to prescribe appropriate treatment.

To do this, your doctor may take a sample of a bacterial culture from the affected area of ​​your eye. This can help determine the most effective treatment, such as: B. with an antibiotic that specifically targets the type of bacteria causing the infection.

Types of eye infections

Examples of viral, bacterial, and fungal infections of the eyes:


Conjunctivitis is a common and highly contagious eye infection that is often spread among children in kindergartens, schools, and similar settings. Teachers and kindergarten teachers are at a higher risk of developing conjunctivitis when they work in close contact with young children.

Frequent infectious Types of conjunctivitis are mostly of viral or bacterial origin. Infants can acquire conjunctival eye infections such as gonococcal and chlamydial conjunctivitis during childbirth if the mother has an STD.

Other viral eye infections (viral keratitis)

In addition to common conjunctivitis, there are other eye infections caused by viruses. This includes ocular herpes, which occurs when you come into contact with the herpes simplex virus.

Fungal keratitis

This form of eye infection made headlines around the world in 2006 when a contact lens solution was linked to an outbreak in contact lens wearers. The solution has since been withdrawn from the market.

The fungal infection of the eyes has been associated with the fungus Fusarium, which is often found in organic material. This and other fungi can enter the eye in other ways, for example when a branch causes a penetrating injury.

Acanthamoeba keratitis

Contact lens wearers are at increased risk of parasites entering the eye and causing a serious vision-damaging infection called acanthamoeba keratitis. Therefore, you should always follow certain safety tips. For example, you shouldn't go swimming with your contact lenses in place.

If you wear contact lenses while swimming or in the hot tub, remove and disinfect them immediately afterwards.

Indeed, there is generally an increased risk of fungal and bacterial infections in contact lens wearers and appropriate contact lens care must be carried out.


A serious eye infection known as trachoma and from Chlamydia trachomatis is the leading cause of blindness in certain parts of the world. The infection is spread by flies in unsanitary environments. Reinfection often also occurs.

Trachoma usually infects the inner eyelid, which begins to scar. The scarring then causes the eyelid to twist inward. The eyelashes now begin to graze and damage the corneal tissue, which can result in permanent blindness. Good hygiene and oral antibiotic treatments are critical to controlling trachoma.


Endophthalmitis is a serious infection of the inside of the eye and is usually caused by bacteria. The most common cause is penetrating Eye injury. It can also be a rare complication of eye surgery, e.g. B occur after cataract surgery.

Immediate medical treatment with potent antibiotics is needed to prevent serious vision loss or blindness in endophthalmitis.

Eye Infection Complications

Infection can also affect internal parts of the upper and lower eyelids, causing inflammation of the eyelid gland, chalazion (hailstone), or stye. Avoid rubbing or “squeezing” a stye, as this can lead to an even deeper, more serious infection called orbital cellulitis.

Orbital cellulitis is an infection of the tissues around the eyeball. This is a medical emergency because if not treated promptly, it can lead to blindness, meningitis, and even death.

Infection can also lead to inflammation and blockage of the tear drainage system of the eye, causing dacryocystitis.

Infection can also cause a corneal ulcer that resembles an abscess on the eye. If left untreated, a corneal ulcer can lead to serious vision loss.

Treatment of eye infections

Fortunately, most bacterial eye infections can be effectively treated with prescription antibiotic eye drops or ointments and compresses.

Many common viral eye infections go away on their own. In cases of severe viral eye infections, antiviral eye drops may be prescribed. Some viral eye infections require the careful administration of steroid-containing eye drops to reduce the accompanying inflammation.

Depending on the cause of your eye infection, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics or antiviral drugs to be taken orally. If your symptoms worsen or change, contact your eye doctor or family doctor immediately.

How to prevent eye infections

Washing your hands before touching your eyes or eyelids, or handling contact lenses, can help prevent eye infections.

If you're around someone with a red eye, don't reach your eyes until you've washed your hands first.

You will minimize the risk of getting a bacterial or viral eye infection if you generally do not rub your eyes, wash your hands regularly - especially before putting on or removing contact lenses -, changing towels and bedding frequently, and using antibacterial cleaning products on table surfaces and other things frequently Apply areas.

Page published in September 2020

Page updated in November 2020