What are the types of viral eye infections?

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Viral eye infections can cause the eyes to feel uncomfortable and some infections can result to blurred vision. Depending on the type of infection and location, the doctor might not recommend a medication to cure the eye infection. In most cases, the doctor will provide an eye drop to minimize the discomfort due to the symptoms. Being familiar with the various types of viral eye infections can help prevent the infection or detect the signs and symptoms early.

Viral conjunctivitis

The conjunctiva which is described as a clear tissue that covers the white part of the eye and lines the underside of the eyelids can become infected by a virus. The infection or viral conjunctivitis or pink eye can cause the white part of the eye to turn red. In most cases, the virus often causes itchiness, irritation and discharge from the eye. The individual might also have inflamed eyelids and even experience light sensitivity.

This viral eye infection can occur due to common cold and easily spreads from one individual to another. It is vital to avoid touching the eyes to prevent the eye infection. The doctor will not prescribe eye drops to manage this condition but simply allow the virus to resolve on its own. In severe cases, the doctor might prescribe a steroid-based eye drop to reduce the symptoms.

Viral-eye-infections
The infection or viral conjunctivitis or pink eye can cause the white part of the eye to turn red. In most cases, the virus often causes itchiness, irritation and discharge from the eye.

Ocular herpes

Always bear in mind that the herpes simplex virus is known to cause cold sores on the face but capable of triggering a viral eye infection. In most circumstances, the virus infects the cornea which is the clear front window of the eye. This results to discomfort, redness, visual changes and light sensitivity. In case the infection occurs deep within the layers of the cornea, it can result to scarring that can cause permanent damage to the vision.

There are limited treatment options for this type of viral eye infection. An antiviral eye drop is prescribed if the infection develops on the upper layers of the cornea. Once this infection runs deep into the cornea, the doctor will prescribe steroid eye drops to minimize the inflammation in the cornea which also helps minimize the scarring. Extended inflammation and severe scarring can eventually lead to a corneal transplant.

Corneal ulcer

The presence of an open wound on the cornea or corneal ulcer, it is usually caused by a virus or can be a complication due to ocular herpes. Take note that the open wound can also stem from damage to the eye and the virus can infect the ulcer. The symptoms include irritation, pain, excessive tearing and light sensitivity. If you will take a closer look in the mirror, there is a white, foggy area on the cornea which indicates an ulcer.

The doctor will prescribe an eye drop to help manage the exact cause of the ulcer. When providing comfort, a special contact lens is usually prescribed to cover the open ulcer. This helps minimize the discomfort and promotes healing.

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  • All stmarkjamestraining.ca content is reviewed by a medical professional and / sourced to ensure as much factual accuracy as possible.

  • We have strict sourcing guidelines and only link to reputable websites, academic research institutions and medical articles.

  • If you feel that any of our content is inaccurate, out-of-date, or otherwise questionable, please contact us through our contact us page.