Eye Infection Symptoms: Recognizing the Telltale Signs

Monali Sharma
Medically reviewed by
Dr. Kaushal

Review medical content on WOW Rx Pharmacy, so that accurate drug use information is easily accessible to everybody.
Dr. Akansha is a licensed Clinical Pharmacologist. She possesses remarkable knowledge in Pharmacovigilance, prescription analysis, drug information, and drug safety services. Additionally, she is a keen learner and an educator.

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eye infection symptoms

Discomfort in your eyes? Can it be an eye infection?

A proper diagnosis will tell you.

However, you can look out for the signs of eye infection as it can sometimes become serious.

According to statistics by the American Academy of Ophthalmology, nearly one million people require medical attention for eye infections.

Keep reading to identify the eye infection symptoms and signs to avoid repercussions.

Signs and symptoms of eye infection

An eye that is infected may exhibit an altered appearance or unusual sensations. 

Indications of an eye infection in its early stages can encompass the following:

  • Redness
  • Itching
  • Swelling
  • Discharge
  • Pain
  • Problems with vision

You may get a fever, swollen lymph nodes near your ears, or trouble wearing contact lenses.

Your symptoms may vary depending on the type of eye infection you have.

Conjunctivitis (Pink eye)

Pink EyeSource: pixelshot
Pink Eye

Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the membrane Conjunctiva. It is a transparent membrane that lines the eyeball and eyelid.

If you have pink eye, then you may experience the following symptoms in one or both of your eyes:

  • Redness
  • Itchiness
  • Headache
  • Tearing
  • A gritty feeling
  • Sensitivity to light (Photophobia)
  • Discharge in the eye(s) that forms a crust at night. It may prevent your eye(s) from opening in the morning

Fungal eye infections

You can get a fungal eye infection because of an eye injury. Some common fungi like Fusarium live in the environment, particularly on plants.

Thus eye injury due to some stick or thorn causes fungal eye infections.

Symptoms can show up several days or weeks after exposure.

Its symptoms are somewhat similar to other eye infections like bacterial or viral. These symptoms are:

  • Eye pain
  • Redness
  • Blurred vision
  • Light sensitivity
  • Eye discharge
  • Watery eyes
If you have these symptoms, do not use contact lenses.
Talk with your doctor right away. Because if fungal eye infections are not treated, they can become severe and may cause permanent loss of eyesight.

Orbital Cellulitis

Orbital Cellulitis (OC) is an inflammation of the tissues of the eye behind the Orbital Septum. It may affect your eyelids, eyebrows, and cheeks.

It is a severe condition and requires medical attention right away.

Thus if you are experiencing any of the following, speak with your doctor immediately.

  • Eye pain
  • Blurred vision
  • Headache
  • Generalized Malaise
  • Fever
  • Proptosis
  • Lid Edema
  • Ophthalmoplegia
  • Conjunctival Chemosis

Periorbital Cellulitis

Periorbital Cellulitis occurs from an insect bite or a scratch around the eye. This causes infection of the skin around the eye.

It is often unilateral. That is, symptoms are usually seen in one eye.

Symptoms of Periorbital Cellulitis to the eye include:

  • Swelling
  • Redness and pain
  • Tenderness to touch

You can move the eye in all directions but might have difficulty opening the eyelid. It often happens due to swelling.

Periorbital Cellulitis does not affect your vision.


Uveitis is the inflammation inside the eye. It is caused by viruses, sarcoidosis, or occasionally due to Lymphoma.

Common signs of eye infections include minor pain, redness, and impaired vision.

Apart from those mentioned above, you may experience increased floaters (mobile black and grey dots), irregular pupils, and photophobia.

If not treated, it can cause serious vision loss.


Keratitis is an inflammation of the Cornea of the eye.

The first signs of Keratitis are usually eye pain, redness, photophobia, and blurred vision.

Sometimes it may feel like something is in your eye, or it may burn or feel irritated.

You may have difficulty opening your eyelid because of pain or irritation.

Additionally, you may have excess tears or other discharge from your eye.

Keratitis can also cause permanent eyesight loss. Thus call your doctor right away if you have any of these symptoms.

Recommended Article:
Are you in search of a more detailed way of healing your eyes with medications?
Read the article, Eye Infection Medicine: A Comprehensive Guide.


eyelid infectionSource: Ocskaymark_from_Getty_Images
Eyelid infection

Stye is a bacterial eye infection in the eyelid. 

It causes a red lump on your eyelid, similar to a pimple.

It is a harmless condition and does not affect your vision. However, it can be painful and may cause swelling and tearing.

If you have Bacterial eye infection then the discharge is much thicker and cloudier than others.


If your symptoms intensify or do not clear within a day or two, seek immediate medical attention.

There are some serious conditions that can cause eye redness. 

These eye conditions may cause pain in the eye, light sensitivity, blurry vision, or you may feel that something is stuck in the eye.

If you are experiencing any of these conditions, speak with your doctor to ensure you don’t have any severe eye infections.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the symptoms of a fungal eye infection?

Symptoms of a fungal eye infection include eye pain, redness, blurry vision, eye discharge, and photophobia. If not treated properly, it may cause blindness.

Are eye infections serious?

Certain eye infections, like styes or blepharitis, often improve with home care. Conversely, more severe eye infections like Endophthalmitis can pose a significant threat to one’s vision and potentially result in permanent vision loss. Therefore, if an individual displays symptoms of an eye infection, they must seek medical attention.

How do you treat an eye infection?

Your healthcare provider might recommend antibiotic treatment for bacterial conjunctivitis, typically administered topically through eye drops or ointment. Antibiotics can aid in decreasing the duration of the infection, minimizing potential complications, and lowering the risk of transmission to others.

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