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Are Eye Infections Contagious?

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If you have symptoms of an eye infection, it does not necessarily mean that you are suffering from contagious viral eye infections. However, the best course of action would be to learn more about them, their symptoms, and the possible causes of infections.

Furthermore, it is necessary to learn which eye infections are contagious. In fact, if you are living with your family, it is your responsibility to prevent the spread of such eye infections. Here’s what you should know about eye infections, types, symptoms, and those that are contagious.

Types of Eye Infections

While there are many complex and different types of eye infections, here’s a list of the main infections that can affect you.

·         Viral Infections

Viral eye infections involve the discharge of gel-like mucoid substances and the redness over the conjunctiva. Moreover, you may experience rashness, itchiness, scratchiness, and other similar symptoms near or in your eyes.

Further, exposure to light can trigger a sense of discomfort in your eyes as your veins suffer from internal damage.

·         Allergic Infections

Common allergens such as dust mites, molds, and pollens can trigger allergic eye reactions. These reactions are infections that are rarely serious for your health. However, medical care is always crucial.

·         Bacterial Infections

Bacterial infections are somewhat similar to viral infections. However, the discharge from the eyes may be more mucopurulent, cloudier, and thicker. Itching, redness, and tearing sensations are common symptoms of bacterial eye infections.

Are Eye Infections Contagious?

A research study suggests, there are a few types of contagious, as well as non-contagious eye infections that can affect us. Learning which ones are contagious helps protect ourselves and those around us, especially younger children from vision or eye-related issues. Commonly, bacterial and viral infections are more contagious than allergic ones, which rarely spread through contact.

What are the Symptoms of an Eye Infection?

Suspecting an eye infection calls for immediate medical care and diagnosis. Here are the common symptoms of eye infections:

  • Eyestrains
  • Red Eyes
  • Blurred Vision
  • Itching, Irritation, Burning, Scratchiness
  • Watery Eyes
  • Eye Discharge
  • Eye Pain
  • Dry Eyes
  • Sensitivity to Light Exposure
  • Eyes Swelling

What is a Contagious Eye Infection (Conjunctivitis)?

Pink Eye, commonly known as Conjunctivitis, is a contagious eye infection due to allergic reactions or viral irritants. It can cause pinkness in the white regions of the eyes and is likely to be bacterial in most children. As they commonly occur due to viruses and irritants, they can spread easily through contact.

Therefore practicing hygiene techniques and tips can help alleviate the risk of spreading pink eye infection from person to person. Some of the tips include:

  • Washing hands before rubbing eyes
  • Refraining from constantly rubbing your eyes
  • Avoiding sharing personal hygiene items
  • Taking care of your eye conditions
  • Avoiding contact lenses at your doctor or optometrist’s recommendation

Other Eye Infections (Bacterial, Viral, and Allergic)

  • Stye
  • Uveitis
  • Cellulitis
  • Keratitis


To preserve your natural sight and the health of your eyes, you should avoid contact with any contagious eye infection. To ensure your eyes don’t suffer from any potential damage, you should be cautious and get the best medical care.

Written by Total Focus

At Total Focus Optometry, we’ve spent the last 70 years building meaningful relationships with our patients and their families. From routine eye exams to contact lens fittings we offer our patients a variety of services to meet their eye care needs.

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