Understanding Eye Infections: Symptoms, Types, and Treatment Options

A woman covers one of her eyes with her fingers and winces in pain.

Unrelenting eye pain can affect everything in your everyday life, especially if it appears out of nowhere or worsens and turns into a full-blown eye infection. 

Eye infections can be uncomfortable and, if left untreated, may lead to complications that affect your vision. 

Recognizing the symptoms, understanding the types of eye infections, and knowing the appropriate treatment options are essential for prompt and effective management. 

In this blog post, we will explore the world of eye infections, their symptoms, different types, and available treatment methods. Additionally, we will address the role of urgent care in managing eye infections and when it is appropriate to seek urgent care services for your specific eye health needs.

Continue reading to learn more.

Eye Infection Symptoms

Eye infections can manifest through various symptoms, including:

  • Redness

Redness of the eye is a common sign of an eye infection. The affected eye may appear bloodshot or have visible blood vessels.

  • Eye Discharge

Excessive tear production, discharge, or crust formation around the eye can indicate an infection. The discharge may be watery, yellowish, greenish, or contain pus.

  • Eye Pain or Discomfort

Eye infections can cause pain, discomfort, or a sensation of grittiness or itching in the affected eye.

  • Sensitivity to Light

Increased sensitivity to light, known as photophobia, is another symptom commonly associated with eye infections.

  • Blurred Vision

Eye infections may cause temporary blurred or hazy vision, impacting your ability to see clearly.

Types of Eye Infections

Eye infections can be categorized into different types based on the affected part of the eye and the cause.

 Common types of eye infections include:


More commonly referred to as “pink eye,” this infection is characterized by redness, itchiness, and a discharge. Conjunctivitis is a highly contagious infection of the conjunctiva, the clear membrane covering the white part of the eye and the inner eyelid.


This condition involves inflammation of the eyelids, typically affecting the base of the eyelashes. It can cause redness, swelling, itching, and crusting of the eyelids.


Keratitis refers to the inflammation of the cornea, the clear, dome-shaped front part of the eye. It can cause pain, blurry vision, sensitivity to light, and eye discharge.

How to Treat an Eye Infection

Eye infection treatmen depends on the specific type and severity of the infection. 

Some common treatment approaches include:

  • Antibiotic Eye Drops or Ointments– Bacterial eye infections are often treated with antibiotic eye drops or ointments to eliminate the bacteria causing the infection.
  • Antiviral Medications– Certain viral eye infections, such as those caused by the herpes simplex virus, may require antiviral medications to manage the infection.
  • Lubricating Eye Drops– Drops or artificial tears can help relieve symptoms of dryness, discomfort, and irritation associated with eye infections.
  • Warm Compresses– Applying warm compresses to the affected eye can help reduce inflammation and relieve symptoms.
  • Proper Hygiene– Practicing good hygiene, such as regularly washing hands, avoiding touching or rubbing the eyes, and regularly cleaning contact lenses (if applicable), can help prevent and manage eye infections.

The Role of Urgent Care for Eye Infections Care

If you have a suspected eye infection and wonder, “Can I go to urgent care for an eye infection?” the answer is yes.

Urgent care centers are vital in managing eye infections, particularly for non-emergency cases requiring prompt attention. 

If you are experiencing severe pain, sudden vision changes, or injury to the eye, it is best to seek immediate medical care at an emergency department. 

However, urgent care centers are well-equipped to diagnose and treat common eye infections, providing timely and appropriate care.

Personalized Eye Infection Diagnosis and Treatment in Oxford

Understanding the symptoms, types, and treatment options for eye infections is crucial for timely intervention and effective treatment.  

If you or a loved one are experiencing symptoms of an eye infection, such as redness, discharge, or pain, it is important to seek medical attention to prevent complications and protect your vision. 

Oxford Urgent Care is a convenient and accessible option for non-emergency eye infection cases, providing expert evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment. 

We are open 7 days a week for all your eye care needs. No appointments are ever necessary. Don’t delay. Get the care you need today.