Eye infections can range from a simple irritation through to a condition that requires immediate emergency treatment. How to best treat any eye infection depends on the cause (bacterial, viral, fungal) and how much the condition has progressed.

Signs and Symptoms of an Eye Infection

  •     Common signs and symptoms

Common signs and symptoms 

Eye infections occur when harmful organisms gain access to any structures of the eye or surrounding tissues. No matter what the cause, they tend to present with one, some, or many of the following symptoms:

      Watery eyes



      Bloodshot eyes



      Blurred vision


      A feeling of burning or “grittiness”

 Types of Eye Infection

  •     Viral
  •     Bacterial
  •     Fungal


Viral infections are common and can be highly contagious. They include:

      Viral conjunctivitis (also called pink or red-eye).

      Ocular herpes


While conjunctivitis is most commonly a viral infection it can also be caused by bacteria. Both are extremely infectious. Other bacterial infections include:

      Bacterial keratitis (an ophthalmic emergency)

      Bacterial endophthalmitis: The most common cause is from a penetrating eye injury 


Eye infections caused by fungi are rare, but when they occur can be serious. They can affect different parts of the eye, such as the cornea or the internal structures of the eye.

Treating an Eye Infection 

  •     Immediate steps
  •     Eye examination

Immediate steps 

The first step as to how to treat an eye infection is to call your ophthalmologist to make an appointment. Because certain conditions can advance swiftly, an eye exam is vital to ensure any necessary treatment is quickly put in place. 

In the meantime you can ease your symptoms in the following ways:

      Remove contact lenses (if you wear them).

      If you have any crusty discharge, gently clean each eye with a cotton ball (use a separate one for each eye). Boil some water and let it cool before soaking the ball and gently dabbing the eye to remove the discharge.

      Hold a cold flannel over your eyes for a few minutes to ease pain and swelling.

You should take care not to spread the infection. Practice good hand hygiene, wash face cloths and pillows at a high temperature, avoid rubbing your eyes, and don’t share towels or pillows. 

Eye examination

The first thing your eye doctor will do is carry out a detailed eye exam to determine the cause of the problem. Conditions such as viral conjunctivitis are usually self-limiting and are treated with cold compresses, topical antihistamines, and perhaps artificial tears. Severe cases might require topical steroids.

Antibiotic eye drops are commonly prescribed for bacterial infections. Some might warrant swabbing for samples. These will then be tested to determine the type of bacteria and the appropriate antibiotic prescribed. 

Self-diagnosis is not recommended, as it can delay treatment and potentially lead to loss of vision. Because eye complaints take so many forms and, in rare cases, can progress swiftly to damage vision or even cause blindness, it’s highly recommended that you seek expert advice and treatment as to how to treat the eye infection. 

Visit the West Boca Eye Center for Fast Treatment of Eye Infections 

The team at the West Boca Eye Center specializes in the treatment of infections and emergency eye care. Patients benefit from the immediate assessment and relevant treatment for their condition.

Your sight is precious, so it’s essential to seek expert advice if you experience any symptoms. The clinical team will know how best to treat any eye infection, reducing the risk of any long-term risk to your eyesight and a swift return to good eye health.


Visit westbocaeyecenter.com to find out more and to book your appointment.