The 5 Most Common Eye Infections – Raleigh NC Eye Doctor

Viruses, bacteria, fungi—there are plenty of this things that can get in our eyes and cause an eye infection. Below are some of the most common eye infections optometrists treat, and tips on how to prevent them. If you live in the Raleigh area and have itchy, red, swollen, leaky, or painful eyes, be sure to contact a Raleigh NC eye doctor as soon as possible.

Styes

A stye is a small, painful red or white bump on or underneath your eyelid. Styes develop when the oil glands in the eyelid or eyelashes are infected with bacteria, and are a common result of sharing makeup and other unsanitary practices. To help a stye heal faster, you can apply warm compresses to your eyelid for 15 minutes at a time.

Pinkeye (Conjunctivitis)

Pinkeye, known in the medical world as conjunctivitis, is an inflammation of the membranes in the whites of the eyes, which causes the disease’s telltale pink appearance. Although pinkeye is common among children and known to sweep through entire playgrounds, it can affect adults as well. Fortunately, pinkeye is considered a minor infection that usually goes away on its own. If you experience pinkeye for more than 7 days with no reduction of symptoms, be sure to see an optometrist to make sure it isn’t something worse.

Staph Infections

Staph infections are caused by the staphylococcus bacteria, which are commonly found on the skin or in the nose of even healthy individuals. Most of the time, these bacteria cause no problems or result in relatively minor skin infections, but if they enter the bloodstream, the infection can turn deadly. If you suspect that you have an eye staph infection, be sure to see a healthcare provider right away.

Fungal Eye Infections

It’s rare to get an eye infection from a fungus, but they can be serious if you do. Many fungal eye infections occur after an injury, especially if the eye was scraped by plant material, like a stick or thorn. Eye fungal infections can also result from not cleaning or changing contacts properly.

Keratitis

Keratitis is an infection of the cornea—the clear, dome-shaped tissue that covers the pupil and iris. It can be caused by viruses, bacteria, or parasites, and is a common problem for contact lens wearers. Keratitis can also be caused by an injury or abrasion. In either case, make sure to see an eye doctor if your eyes feel painful or swollen.

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