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Types of Eye Infections: Problems Affecting Vision

At Chicago Cornea Consultants™, Ltd., we offer patients comprehensive eye care and vision correction services, treating all sorts of matters that could have an impact on eyesight and overall wellness. Some of the most common kinds of eye problems that we address are eye infections, some of which are more common than others. With this in mind, let’s take a moment to look at some of the more common kinds of eye infections that our team can diagnose and treat.

Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis)

One of the most well-known kinds of eye infections is pink eye. Conjunctivitis most often occurs when bacteria on the hands comes into contact with the eyes. This bacteria is generally found on regular surfaces and objects we encounter every day, such as doorknobs and tabletops. Conjunctivitis can also be spread through unclean contact lenses or when people share towels with one another.

Conjunctivitis is very common in young children and in adults who are often around young children (e.g., teachers, nannies, caretakers). Thankfully it’s relatively easy to avoid contracting pink eye. Cleanliness and washing hands thoroughly most often does the trick.

Styes (Hordeolum)

Styes are the uncomfortable bumps that form on a person’s upper or lower eyelids. They often affect the appearance of the eyes, not allowing them to appear fully open, or, in other cases, making the eyelids appear puffy and discolored. Styes are caused when a bacterial infections leads to the blockage of the oil glands of the eyelid. Styes will generally last a week or so, and they can be prevented by washing your hands regularly.


Blepharitis is a condition in which the eyelid becomes inflamed and swollen in the area where the eyelashes grow. In some cases, the eye may appear partially or almost entirely shut. Most people who suffer from blepharitis will also notice small flakes or scales around the eyelashes that are similar to dandruff in a number of ways. Many cases of blepharitis are related to a skin condition known as seborrhea.

Herpes Simplex Virus of the Eyes (Ocular Herpes)

Common cold sores that most people experience are caused by the type 1 herpes simplex virus, or HSV-1. (Type 2 herpes simplex virus, HSV-2, is the sexually transmitted disease.) It’s possible for HSV-1 to affect the eye area, which can be extremely uncomfortable and off-putting. The condition can be particularly bad if it affects the cornea, leading to vision problems and potential vision loss.


Keratitis is a kind of eye infection that leads to the inflammation of a person’s cornea. The kind of infection can vary since the bacteria can affect the epithelium (the topmost portion of the cornea) or it can affect the deeper layers of the cornea (this is referred to as “deep keratitis”). The most common causes of keratitis include dirty contact lenses, contaminated water, and injuries to the eye.


The other kinds of eye infections we’ve discussed affect the eyelids or the surface structures of the eye. Endophthalmitis, by contrast, is an infection that occurs within a person’s eyeball. This kind of infection is most commonly the result of major eye trauma such that a blow or wound to the eye drives outside bacteria into the eyeball.

Schedule a Consultation at Chicago Cornea Consultants™, Ltd.

To learn more about different kinds of eye infections and what your ideal treatment options are when facing these kinds of issues, be sure to contact our advanced eye care and vision correction specialists today. The team at Chicago Cornea Consultants™, Ltd. looks forward to your visit and helping you achieve optimal eye health in the process.

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