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Common Eye Infections

Eye Infections are eye ailments that are caused by bacterial, viral, or other microbiological agents. Some eye infections are common while others are rare. Contact lens wearers are at higher risk for eye infections due to the bacterial buildup from constantly wearing the lenses without proper disinfecting.

Eye infections usually require some type of medication for treatment so it is important to seek an eye care professional for advice on the type and treatment of the eye infection, keeping in mind that these infections can affect any part of the eye.

chalazion sty keratitis blepharitis conjunctivitis-pink-eye

Conjunctivitis or Pink Eye


Conjunctivitis or Pink Eye is the inflammation of the conjunctiva, the clear, thin, vascular tissue which lies over the white part of the eye (sclera) and on the back of the eyelid. Viral conjunctivitis is highly contagious.


  • Infections from bacteria or viruses
  • Dry eyes
  • Smoke
  • Chemical Allergies


  • Eye redness
  • Swollen eyelids
  • Itching or burn sensation
  • Drainage from the eye


  • Bacterial conjunctivitis: cleansing of eyelids along with an antibiotic prescription drop
  • Viral conjunctivitis: no direct treatment, but washing hands often and avoiding contact with others helps prevent spread
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Blepharitis is an inflammation of the eye lid margins and the oil producing glands within the substance of the eye lids.


Results from chronic, low-grade infection and inflammation of the lid margins and eyelid glands


  • Chronic eye lid redness
  • Crusting of the eyelids (particularly in the morning)
  • Gritty or sandy sensation


  • Continuous eye lid cleansing
  • Warm compresses
  • Antibiotic ointments and/or drops
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Keratitis is an inflammation of the cornea(the clear front surface of the eye)


  • Result of infection or irritation of the sensitive, front corneal surface
  • Patients who wear extended wear soft contact lenses may form corneal ulcers


  • Pain
  • Light Sensitivity
  • Decreased Vision
  • Eye Redness


  • Discontinue use of contact lenses
  • Antibacterial, antifungal, or antiviral therapy
  • Prescription eye drops, pills or IV
  • Steroid drops
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Sty is an inflamed oil gland on the lid margin of the eye


  • Bacterial Infection


  • Rapid onset of eyelid redness
  • Sudden swelling
  • Pain and tenderness in the affected area
  • May also notice frequent watering and light sensitivity as well as a feeling like something in your eye.


  • Warm compresses
  • Topical and/or Systemic antibiotics
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Chalazion is a non-infectious granulomatous inflammation of one or more of the glands contained in the upper or lower eye lid.


  • Oil in the glands becomes too thick to flow out of the gland or the opening to the gland may be obstructed
  • Often recurrent in either eye and both eye lids


  • Swelling of eyelid over weeks
  • A growing hard lump usually on upper eyelid
  • Occassional redness and pain


  • Warm compresses
  • Incision and drainage for more severe cases
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Common Symptoms of an Eye Infection

  • Chronic redness
  • Persistent Itching
  • Flaking of the eye lids
  • Discomfort of the eyes
  • Blurring vision
  • Watery eyes
  • Eye discharge
  • Eye pain
  • Swelling of tissue surrounding eyes or eyelids
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