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Understanding Viral Eye Infections: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

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The eyes are one of the most sensitive parts of our body, which makes them prone to viral eye infections.

This infection can cause significant discomfort and irritation in the eyes of a person.

These viral eye infections can affect one’s vision and even lead to serious complications if they remain untreated.

There are several symptoms of this eye infection, and it may be due to several kinds of viruses.

This article will discuss the symptoms, causes, and available treatment options for eye infections due to viruses.

What is Viral Eye Infection

Viral Eye Infections usually refer to eye infections that are caused due to viral contact.

The most common types of viral optical infections are viral pink eye (viral Conjunctivitis) and viral Keratitis.

The most common viruses behind these eye infections are Adenovirus and Herpes Simplex.

A person might also experience Uveitis due to viral infection in the eyes due to the Herpes Simplex virus.

These conditions are contagious in nature and can spread from one person to another with or without direct contact.

To learn more about Keratitis, read Learn Everything About Keratitis: Symptoms, Causes, Types, and Treatment.

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  • Viral Eye Infection Symptoms

    Allergic pink eyeSource: Pixelshot

    It is important to learn about the symptoms of viral eye infections to receive proper treatment.

    According to a study, the symptoms of viral Conjunctivitis include redness, swelling, eye discharge, and sensitivity to light.

    Individuals with viral Keratitis may also experience symptoms like redness and eye discharge.

    Some of the other symptoms of viral Keratitis include watery eyes, itching, and pain.

    Another study states that the symptoms of viral Uveitis include high eye pressure and changes in the iris (the colored part of the eye).

    To learn more about eye infection symptoms, read Eye Infection Symptoms You Need to Look Out For.

    Causes of Viral Eye Infection

    Research states that Adenovirus, Herpes Simplex, and Enterovirus are three of the most common causes of viral pink eye.

    The primary virus responsible for viral Keratitis in an individual is the Herpes Simplex virus.

    The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) states that Herpes Simplex, Varicella Zoster, and Cytomegalovirus are responsible for viral Uveitis.

    A person can experience a viral eye infection if they come in close contact with an infected person.

    Since eye infections caused by viruses are contagious, they can also transfer through sneezing or coughing.

    To explore more causes of eye infections, read Unmasking the Culprits: Eye Infection Causes, Symptoms, and Prevention.

    Additional Fact :
    Although most viral optical infections are experienced due to new interactions with viruses, some individuals might experience it due to a pre-existing viral infection in their body.

    Viral Eye Infection Treatment

    Consult a doctor to seek proper treatmentSource: 89Stocker
    Consult a doctor to seek proper treatment

    Since viral eye infections can cause serious discomfort, it is important to treat the condition immediately.   

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that doctors often suggest antiviral to treat viral Conjunctivitis.

    The antivirals are effective in these cases since there are no Antibiotics for the condition.

    Apart from viral pink eyes, the symptoms of Keratitis and Uveitis can be relieved using lubricating eye drops.

    Individuals can also use cold compresses to lessen the discomfort and maintain hygiene to treat the condition.

    However, it is always best to consult a doctor to get a proper diagnosis and treatment for viral eye infections.

    To get a understanding of more eye infection treatments, read Eye Infection Treatment: How to Get Relief Quickly.

    If you are constantly experiencing pain in the eyes, redness, itching, and sensitivity to light, it is best to consult your doctor immediately. If viral eye infections like Keratitis and Uveitis remain untreated, it can result in vision loss.


    Viral eye infection can cause discomfort and disrupt one’s vision if it is not treated for a long time.

    The most common viral eye infections include viral pink eye, Keratitis, and Uveitis.

    The usual symptoms of these viral infections are redness, itching, swelling, watery eyes, and eye pain.

    A person with viral Conjunctivitis might experience it due to Adenovirus and Herpes Simplex virus.

    Similarly, Herpes Simplex is also one of the major causes of viral Keratitis and Uveitis.

    Doctors may suggest treatments like Antiviral, lubricating eye drops, cold compresses, and maintaining proper hygiene.

    However, it is best to consult a medical expert immediately if you are facing any of the above-mentioned symptoms.

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    How long does a viral eye infection last?

    The duration of a viral eye infection depends on the virus affecting the person. In most cases like viral Conjunctivitis, the infection lasts one to two weeks but may take more than that if left untreated.

    Can I wear contact lenses during a viral eye infection?

    No, it is best not to wear contact lenses during a viral eye infection. This can cause dry eyes, which might worsen the discomfort and irritation in the eyes.

    Do viral eye infections lead to long-term complications?

    Yes, viral eye infections can lead to long-term complications. For example, if a person is experiencing Keratitis, they may notice the symptoms leading to complications if it remains untreated. This may lead to problems like Glaucoma, dry eye, and vision problems.

    Can viral eye infection spread?

    Yes, viral eye infections can spread from one person to another. Since they are contagious in nature, they can spread through both direct and indirect contact. It can be through touching infected surfaces and standing near them while the infected person sneezes or coughs.

    Is a viral eye infection serious?

    Yes, viral eye infections like Keratitis and Uveitis are serious conditions, unlike viral pink eye. Viral pink eye can usually run its course without any treatment. However, Keratitis and Uveitis can cause blindness in a person if they remain untreated.

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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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