The Most Common Eye Infection

The human eye is an extremely complex organ, which often makes it difficult to pinpoint the cause of an infection, should you be suffering from one. With that in mind, our Calgary optometrist will take a look at the most common eye infection that you might have to deal with, so that you get a better understanding of what is causing an issue.


This is an inflammation of the membrane that is located in the inner eyelid and inner corner of the eye’s surface. This is perhaps the most common type of infection and can be treated by most medical professionals. There are also other parts of the eye that can become similarly inflamed, such as the eyelid, cornea and the optic nerve. Each of these will present a similar level of pain as conjunctivitis, but will actually affect a different part of the eye and thus may require another treatment.

Conjunctivitis is most commonly caused by the adenovirus, which is a variation of the common cold virus. This means that it is contagious and thus can be passed from one person to another. Colloquially, this form of conjunctivitis is often referred to as ‘Pink Eye.’ However, there are other variations on this infection, such as the type that is caused by bacteria, which tend to last longer but are less contagious.

The Causes

As previously mentioned, the most common cause of an eye infection is the adenovirus, particularly in relation to the development of conjunctivitis. However, there are also a number of other potential causes if this is not the case.

Chlamydia and gonorrhoea – STIs are one of the most common ways to pass on an infection, but it is important to note that said infections will not always affect the genital area. If genital fluids of any kind get in or around your eye and the person has one of these STIs, you may find that you end up suffering from conjunctivitis. Furthermore, if you wipe your face with your hands without having cleaned off any fluid you could also cause the issue to occur.

Shingles – This is a reactivation of the virus that causes chickenpox and is extremely infectious. If you touch your eyes while suffering from shingles, you may find that you end up passing an infection that materializes in a similar fashion to conjunctivitis.

There are a number of other ways that this most common of eye infections can form, so it is important to discuss any issues you may have with your Calgary eye doctor whenever relevant.

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