Eye Infection Symptoms In Adults – 2024 Overview

Eye infections are a painful yet condition to go through for most adults. These conditions can be caused by a number of different reasons such as environmental factor, poor hygiene, or even shared items.

Upon acquiring eye infections, you are most likely to suffer from blurry visions, teary eyes, sticky discharge, clumped up and sticky mucus-like discharge on the eyelashes. You may also find your sclera to be of different color than usual when suffering from eye infections. Luckily, all of these can be treated quite easily with proper care and prescribed medications.

Therefore, the best way to treat eye infection symptoms in adults is by maintaining proper hygiene and proper medications. Stick till the end of this article to find out how to treat such conditions effectively.

Possible Eye Infection Symptoms Adults Mostly Face

Eye infections come in a multitude of different forms and symptoms, escpecially for the adults. Detecting some of these early signs can help and prevent the long term suffering that comes with certain types of eye infections for most people. Some common symptoms of eye infections are as follows –


Possible Eye Infection - eye Swelling
Source: medicalnewstoday.com

Swelling of the eye can lead to early detection of an infected eye for most adults. It is possible for eyes to swell up for a number of reasons such as bacterial conjunctivitis, viral conjunctivitis, allergic conjunctivitis among others.

It is possible for your environment to play an active role for you having swollen eyes which lead to eye infections in both adults and children.

Even foreign particles present in the air that you are not used to can cause your eyes to swell up. In such cases when you have swollen eyes, try keeping the area around the eye clean and sanitary to prevent contamination.

If swelling persists, consult an eye doctor promptly. An ophthalmologist can prescribe suitable treatment to address the issue. After the swelling has subsided and vision changes occur, visit an optometrist for further information as you can learn more here.


eye Discharge - symptoms
Source: healthline.com

Involuntary discharge from the eye is a common sign that signifies eye infection before it gets worse. Typically, you may experience yellow, milky white, or sticky pus-like discharge from your eyes are signs that you do have an infected eyes and need medical attention. These discharges can be caused by bacterial, viral, or even environmental factors. Irriation in the conjunctiva or foreign particles irritating the conjunctiva can lead to involuntary discharge from the eye.

Bacterial conjunctivitis is the most common reason for discharge from the eyes that requires professional and immediate medical attention. It is possible for such irritations to cost you your life and taking the discharge into consideration may just save your your life.

Pink Eye

Pink Eye causes and symptoms
Source: eduardobessermd.com

Pink eyes can be caused by allergic triggers, pet fur or danders, or even pollen in the air throughout the year. It is possible to spread pink eyes from one person to another by coming in close contact with an infected individual, or even by using their personal items and sharing it. The infected person may leae traces of the virus, or bacteria that got them infected.

Upon acquiring pink eye, you may feel gritty, irritation, and increased sensitivity on the eyes. Getting them checked out at this point is ideal in order to prevent further deterioration as it can get worse rapidly when untreated.

The management of pink eye (conjunctivitis) depends on its cause. For bacterial conjunctivitis, antibiotics like chloramphenicol or erythromycin are prescribed, along with warm compresses. Hygiene practices, temporary cessation of contact lens use, and regular follow-up are emphasized. Viral conjunctivitis may be self-limiting, with symptomatic relief and, if necessary, antiviral medications.

Allergic conjunctivitis involves identifying and avoiding allergens, along with antihistamine treatments. Isolation measures are recommended to prevent transmission in communal settings. Specific treatment varies, so individuals should consult healthcare professionals for personalized advice.


Sensitivity to light can be an early symptom of having an infected eye. This happens when you struggle to open your eyes wide and fully in a well lit or a bright room.

You may experience frequent blinking, teary eyes, and even intense headaches that may lead to an infected eye pretty soon. It is possible for light sensitivity to signify an infection and be relevant to conjunctivitis of some sort.

Keratitis is a form of conjunctivitis where you will experience the cornea becoming swollen, tender, sore, red, and puffy, which soon leads to eye infection. At this stage, refraining from rubbing your eyes and ensuring cleanliness can help before seeking medical attention to contain the irritation of the eyes.

Blurred Vision

Experiencing blurry visions can be really scary that causes you to have poor sight and less sharp and crisp visuals. It is common for blurry visions to progressively get worse over time and hinder your day-to-day activity.

Cellulitis, uveitis, and keratitis are some of the common causes for blurry visions that may potentially lead to blurry vision for certain people. Any of these could cause the eye to swell up significantly and turn bright red which shows progression towards infection.

Blurry visions can be treated by prescribed eyedrops and warm compressions to keep the site clean. However, in severe cases, it is possible to require surgery on the eyes if blurred visions are ignored.

Increased Discoloration of The Eye

Increased Discoloration of The Eye - infection
Source: verywellhealth.com

Discoloration of the eyes are usually a tell-tale sign that says something is definitely wrong with the eyes. It is possible for the white portion of they eye that is known as sclera to turn vaguely red, pink, mily, or even yellow depending on your health condition.

Typically, the sclera turning is a common sign of having preliminary jaundice. Another reason for discoloration of the eyes can be caused by conjunctival icterus which can also help detect liver issues. However, basic eye infections can also lead to the eyes turning a different color than the typical solid white.

Contamination of the fluids in the eyes, internal eye irritation, bacterial and viral presence can also lead to discoloration of the eyes and lead to eye infection.

Possible Treatments for Eye Infection in Adults

Treatments for eye infections ranges from at home care to even leading to requiring intense and prolonged treatments, or even requiring surgeries in worst case scenarios.

However, it is always recommended to initiate with some form of care at home upon detecting eye infection until receiving medical attention. Down below are some well known forms of treatments for eye infections in adults –

Antibiotic Eye Drops

Antibiotic Eye Drops - treatments for eye infections
Source: baptisthealth.com

If you are suffering from bacterial eye infectiononly, you are most likely to get prescribed for an antibiotic eye drop to help clear out the infection.

This eye drop is only going to work if you have bacterial infection. Conjunctivitis, viral infection, and allergic infections are going to remain ineffective and untreated when using eye drops.

Even fungal infections are ineffective for the most part when eye drops are used. In adults, antibiotic eyedrops are useful when you have a bacterial eye infection that is most likely caused in adults when shared contact lenses are involved.

Sleeping with contact lenses, having them on for prolonged hours, wearing dirty lenses, or sharing others’ contact lenses can cause transmission of bacterial infection. This is when an antibiotic eye drop may come handy. However, in order for the drop to work, following through the entire prescribed is vital.

Warm Compressions

Warm compressions are known to help immensely when suffering from irritation of the eyes. Dampening a towel with warm water and holding it against the eyes can help get rid of any bacterial, viral, or fungal presence and help keep the site clean.

It helps calm down the swelling and offer relief if you experience any ache or pain of the eye. The heat from the warm compressions can also help draw out any foreign presence from the eyes and help clear the eyes.

However, maintaining moderation is crucial for warm compressions to work. Using too much hot water can trigger bacterial infection instead of calming it down as bacterias thrive in warm sites.

Prescribed Ointments And Oral Antibiotics

Prescribed Ointments And Oral Antibiotics for eye infection
Source: netdoctor.co.uk

In cases of certain eye infections, your medical professional is most likely to recommend you oral antibiotic medicines such as doxycycline, or azithromycin. These medicines are quite effective in terms of helping with chlamydial conjunctivitis.

You may also be prescribed to take several medicines combined in order to help with your eye infection, such as ciproflaxin incorporated with other antibiotics.

Upon acquiring viral conjunctivitis caused by herpes simplex, or zoster virus, you may also be prescribed gels and ointments like acyclovir ointment, or ganciclovir gels to help.

These come quite handy when trying to prevent the after effect of viral keratitis. However, when used in conjunction with cold compresses, the infection is expected to clear up much sooner.

Proper Hygiene And Maintenance Of Cleanliness

Upon detecting eye infection, maintaining proper and utmost hygiene is absolutely vital in order for the infection to clear up. During the infection period, it is important not to contaminate eyewears at all.

Even the tissue papers, or towels that has been used around the infected site must not be shared with others and be thoroughly disinfected and cleaned. This is because most eye infections can be contagious and spread rather wildly.

Keeping the infected site clean by regularly washing, splashing with water and using disinfectant wipes can go a long way in terms of helping clear up the infection.

Good Nutrition

A well-balanced diet includes essential nutrients like vitamins A, C, E, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, zeaxanthin, beta-carotene, and copper. These nutrients contribute to maintaining corneal health, preventing night blindness, protecting against oxidative damage, supporting enzyme function, and maintaining the health of the optic nerve.

Bottom Line

Eye infections are a very common issue most people face every now and then. The triggers and reasons for acquiring such conditions may vary from people to peopl. However, in adults, it is commonly caused due to poor hygiene and poor condition of contact lenses. The effects of these infections can last for a week to up to roughly 2 and a half weeks and clear up with proper maintenance.

In order to prevent eye infection symptoms in adults, it is best not to wait for it to clear up naturally over time. This is because there are certain infections that are known to jeopardize your vision if not treated in time as needed.