Common Eye Infections By Dr. Steven Chander on May 21, 2019

A patient undergoing an eye exam with her doctorPrevention is often the best kind of medicine. That’s why Primary Eye Care Associates places an emphasis on common sense eye care with a focus on safety and good hygiene. Washing your hands, cleaning your contact lenses, and wearing eye protection can go a long way toward preventing injury and eye infections. Of course, infections can still happen. When they do, our Chicago, IL eye care specialists can help.

Dr. Steven Chander would like to consider some common types of eye infections below. We’ll go over causes, symptoms, and the usual methods of treatment.

Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)

The most well known type of eye infection, conjunctivitis is an infection of the conjunctiva, the thin, transparent that covers the outer surface of the eye and inner tissue of your eyelids. The blood vessels of the conjunctiva become more visible when inflamed, causing the eye to have a pink or red color.

Pink eye is most commonly caused by bacteria, but it can also be caused by viruses, eye allergies, foreign objects in the eye, and chemical exposure.

Common Signs and Symptoms of Conjunctivitis

The most common signs and symptoms of conjunctivitis include:

  • Redness in one or both eyes
  • A gritty feeling in the red eye or eyes
  • Itchy or irritated eyes
  • Excessive tearing of the eyes
  • Discharge from the eyes
  • Excessive crusting of the eyes in the morning

Treating Conjunctivitis

Treating conjunctivitis will typically involve a combination of liquid tears and keeping the eye area clean. Patients should avoid wearing contacts and also avoid touching and rubbing their eyes. We recommend washing hands frequently just as a precaution. Antibiotic or antiviral medications may be used in some cases.


Styes are another common infection of the eyes we see at our Chicago practice a fair amount. These unsightly bumps of the eyelid resemble pimples. They are actually a bacterial infection of the root of the eyelash.

Common Signs and Symptoms of Styes

The most common signs and symptoms of styes include:

  • Red bump along the upper or lower eyelid
  • Pain of the eyelid
  • Swelling of the eyelids
  • Excessive tearing of the eyes

Treating Styes

Styes rarely require invasive treatment and will go away on their own. Patients are advised to avoid wearing contact lenses. Placing a warm, clean washcloth against the eye can soothe irritation. Antibiotic creams or eyedrops may be prescribed.


Keratitis is a type of inflammation affecting the cornea, the clear frontal portion of the eye. Keratitis can occur as a result of an infection, though other conditions can also cause the condition. Bacteria, fungus, parasites, and viruses (ocular herpes/HSV-1) can all cause keratitis.

Common Signs and Symptoms of Keratitis

The most common signs and symptoms of keratitis include:

  • Red eye
  • Eye pain
  • Blurry vision
  • Light sensitivity
  • Gritty sensation in the eyes
  • Excessive tearing of the eyes

Treating Keratitis

For bacterial, fungal, or viral keratitis, medicated eyedrops are the most common treatment option. Use the antibacterial, antifungal, or antiviral drops as directed. Our Chicago eye care specialists will work to prevent lasting damage to the corneas in order to preserve the patient’s vision.

Learn More About Treatment of Eye Infections

For more information about eye infections and how they can be treated, be sure to contact a skilled eye doctor and vision care specialist. The team at Primary Eye Care Associates can be reached by phone at (773) 735-6090.

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Dr. Steven Chander

Primary Eye Care Associates

Primary Eye Care Associates is a family-friendly vision care practice in Chicago. Led by our eye doctor, Dr. Steven Chander, our practice provides a variety of services, features a state-of-the-art optical laboratory, and includes an optical boutique with designer frames. Dr. Chander is certified by:

  • The National Board of Examiners in Optometry
  • The American Optometric Association

To schedule an appointment with our team, please fill out our online form or call (773) 735-6090.

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