Your eyes can get infections from bacteria, fungi, or viruses. Eye infections can occur in different parts of the eye and can affect just one eye or both. Two common eye infections are: Conjunctivitis – also known as pink eye. Conjunctivitis is often due to an infection.

It can be caused by a bacteria or virus, although sometimes you might get it from an allergic reaction or irritants. It’s common to get pinkeye when you have a cold. In adults, it is most commonly caused by a virus, and in children it is most likely bacterial.

Types of Eye Infections

Here are some leading types of eye infection:

  • Conjunctivitis: Conjunctivitis, more commonly known as pink eye, occurs when blood vessels in the conjunctiva become infected with virus or bacteria. In its microbial form, pink eye is highly contagious (there is also a noncontagious allergic form).
  • Sty: A sty is small bump or pimple that grows on the outer edges of your eyelid. It is caused by a bacterial infection of the oil glands that exist in that part of the eye.
  • Keratitis: Keratitis is a viral, bacterial, or fungal infection of the cornea. It can also result from an eye injury. Contact-lens wearers are especially susceptible to contracting keratitis.
  • Blepharitis: Blepharitis is a bacterial inflammation of the eyelids. As with sties, the ailment has its origin in the clogging of oil glands at the base of the eyelashes.
  • Uveitis: Uveitis is an infection of the uvea, the pigmented layer of the eye, including the iris and choroid. Causes include viral infections, eye injuries, or immune-system deficiencies.
  • Cellulitis: Cellulitis is an eyelid infection. It generally occurs when a scratch or minor eye injury becomes infected with some form of bacteria (e.g., Staphylococcus or staph).
  • Endophthalmitis: Endophthalmitis is a severe inflammation of the inside of the eye. It results from a bacterial or fungal infection, most often the Candida or yeast fungus.
  • Dacryocystitis: Dacryocystitis is a blockage of the tear ducts. It can be congenital (present from birth) or acquired, typically through bacterial infection.
  • Ocular herpes: Ocular herpes is an infection of the eye by the herpes simplex virus (HSV-1). It is spread by contact with other persons carrying the virus (though not sexually like HSV-2, another herpes virus).


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