What Causes an Eye Infection?

November 12, 2012

What Causes an Eye Infection?

It is very common for people to experience an eye infection nowadays. However, there are a lot of different causes to these infections, such as the following:

1. Ocular Histoplasmosis Syndrome or OHS

OSH refers to a fungal lung infection that people get when they inhale spores. It is most common inside river valleys in Canada and America and most adults in the South East of the US tend to experience it at one point or another. This infection doesn’t come with any symptoms, but the fungus can sometimes make it into the retina after a few years. Once it gets there, the retina may get damaged and cause retinal decay and symptoms similar to that of macular degeneration. This can then destroy the vision’s main part. Even though it is rare for people who have histoplasmosis to suffer from OHS, this common fungus can cause an eye infection and even legal blindness in some cases.

2. Gonorrhea and Chlamydia

Believe it or not, these common sexual diseases can cause an eye infection, even though the damage done to the eye isn’t serious. These diseases might reach the eye through genital fluids, like semen, or from rubbing the eyes after touching infected genitals. One type of gonorrhea might penetrate the eye’s protective layers, too, though, and cause an infection inside of the eye. Aside from that, babies who are born to infected women may get this infection in the eye, as well.

3. Herpes Simplex

This virus is quite common and can infect people as a sexual disease or a skin disease. It may infect the eyes through the same way that gonorrhea and chlamydia can, though. As with the aforementioned diseases, herpes might cause ulceration and pitting in the eye. A chronic version of this infection – although rare – may cause retinal necrosis, as well, and significantly destroy the tissue in the eye and cause visual damage, if not blindness.

4. Shingles

Shingles refer to a virus reactivation from chickenpox in the form of sores. These sores can cause an eye infection, if the eyes are touched after the sore has been touched. Although these sores are the most common cause of retinal necrosis in today’s youth, varicella zoster is still the main cause in older people.

5. Bacterial Keratitis

This eye infection is caused by common skin, nose and mouth bacteria. In general, this bacteria cannot get into the eye’s outer layer, though, so it may only cause conjunctivitis, if anything.


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