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Eye Infection Symptoms You Need to Look Out For

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An eye infection can occur when a microorganism like a virus, bacteria, or fungus comes in contact with the eye.

Eye infections can occur in one or both eyes at a time. Some commonly occurring types of eye infections include Conjunctivitis (pink eye), Keratitis, and Cellulitis.

An eye infection can manifest in different ways and lead to discomfort. But, recognizing the signs of eye infection can be a crucial step towards better eye health.

This article will discuss some common eye infection symptoms you can look for if you suspect an infection.

Symptoms of Eye Infection

An eye infection can affect different parts of the eye, such as the cornea, eyelid, or conjunctiva (a thin layer covering the eye’s white area).

Eye infection symptoms can show up differently depending on the part of the eye that the infection affects.

Some common symptoms include redness, irritation, eye discharge, and light sensitivity.

Let us discuss these symptoms in detail.

Irritation and Itching

A person may experience eye irritation when they have itchy or dry eyes. They may feel like there is something in the eye.

Eye irritation and itching can cause discomfort and prompt you to rub or scratch your eyes.

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Eye RednessSource: DawnPoland
Eye Redness

Eye redness is one of the most common symptoms of eye infection. The white area of the eye appears red and blood.

Conjunctivitis (pink eye) is the most common eye infection, particularly characterized by eye redness.

To explore more about pink eye and eye infection, read Pink Eye vs Eye Infection: How is Pink Eye Different From Other Eye Infections?


Infections like Periorbital Cellulitis can cause eyelid swelling. The infection may also lead to swelling around the eye.

A more serious form of Periorbital Cellulitis is Orbital Cellulitis, which can also cause swelling.

Depending on the severity of the swelling, it can lead to vision problems.

Periorbital Cellulitis is an infection of the eyelid and skin around the eye. This infection is more common in children under the age of five.

Eye Discharge

Eye infections can cause different types of eye discharge. Depending on the infection’s type, this discharge may be watery, thick, yellow, or green.

Infections that may cause eye discharge include Keratitis, Blepharitis, and Conjunctivitis.

Blurred Vision

Many people experience blurred vision as a result of an eye infection. The vision may blur due to swelling of the eyelids or area around the eye or due to discharge.

Pain or Discomfort

One of the common fungal eye infection symptoms is eye pain. Eye infections may cause discomfort by causing a burning sensation and feeling that something is in the eye.

Light Sensitivity

Eye infections that can cause photophobia or light sensitivity include Conjunctivitis and Keratitiits.

Light sensitivity can make it difficult to focus, and it may be painful when the infected eye is exposed to light.

To understand the relation between eye pain and sensitivity to light, read Understanding the Connection Between Eye Pain and Sensitivity to Light.

How to Relieve Eye Infection Symptoms

Using artificial eyedropSource: stefanamer_from_Getty_Images
Using artificial eyedrop

Treatment of an eye infection depends on the underlying cause of the infection. 

For bacterial infections such as bacterial pink eye, antibiotic eyedrops can relieve the symptoms.

Fungal eye infections require antifungal medications for effective treatment.

Viral infections, on the other hand, can resolve on their own within a few weeks with the help of home remedies.

Home remedies for eye infections may include warm compress and artificial tears

You should note that antibiotics are ineffective in treating viral eye infections. Your healthcare provider may prescribe antivirals in case of a serious infection.

It is essential to consult a healthcare provider if you notice eye infection symptoms for proper treatment.

If you wish to learn more about eye infection treatment, read Eye Infection Treatment: How to Get Relief Quickly

Self-medication to treat an eye infection can be harmful and lead to worsening of symptoms in some cases.

Final Words

Eye infections occur due to microorganisms like viruses, bacteria, and fungi. They can cause discomfort and affect your ability to function normally in daily life.

Eye infection symptoms can show up in varied ways depending on the type of infection you have.

Some common symptoms include redness, eye discharge, blurry vision, light sensitivity, and more.

These symptoms can cause distress as they affect your vision and cause discomfort and eye pain.

Identifying these signs of eye infection can be a crucial step toward better eye health.

Consult an eye care specialist if you notice these eye infection symptoms. They may recommend eye drops or medications based on the type of eye infection.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Are eye infections contagious?

Yes, some eye infections, like viral and bacterial Conjunctivitis, can be contagious.

It’s best to avoid close contact with others until the infection has cleared.

How can I prevent eye infections?

To reduce the risk of eye infections, maintain good hygiene, avoid sharing personal items, and protect your eyes from irritants and foreign objects.

Can I use over-the-counter eye drops for an eye infection?

Yes, you can use over-the-counter artificial tears to relieve symptoms like dryness and irritation. However, it’s advisable to consult a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and treatment.

What should I do if my eye infection symptoms worsen despite treatment?

If your symptoms worsen or don’t improve with treatment, contact your healthcare provider for a reevaluation and potential adjustment of your treatment plan.

Is it safe to wear makeup with an eye infection?

No, it’s generally not safe to wear makeup with an eye infection, as makeup can harbor bacteria and worsen the condition. 

You should also replace any eye makeup used during the infection to prevent re-infection.

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Photo of author Janet Fudge
Janet Fudge is a highly skilled and experienced pharmacologist who serves as a contributing writer for With a strong academic background from a premier US University and a passion for helping others, Janet has become a trusted voice in the pharmaceutical world. After completing her Doctor of Pharmacy degree, Janet embarked on a successful career in the pharmaceutical industry, working with various clients, including hospitals, retail pharmacies, and drug manufacturers. Her in-depth knowledge of pharmacology and dedication to patient-centered care has led her to excel in her field. As a writer for, Janet uses her wealth of expertise to provide readers with accurate, reliable, and up-to-date information on various topics related to medicine and healthcare. Her engaging writing style and ability to break down complex topics into easily digestible content make her a valuable resource for healthcare professionals and the general public.
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