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7 Health Risks Of Eye Infections

Adults and children alike can be afflicted with various types of eye infections. These infections can range from mild to severe and may require different types of care and treatment.

In some cases, aside from the pain and discomfort, one may experience, it may also be accompanied by watery or swollen eyes.

For mild cases, some types of eye infections can go away without medication. However, moderate to severe eye ailments usually have side effects that could pose serious health risks and require immediate medical attention to prevent them from worsening. 

If you’d like to know more about the health risks of having eye infections, continue reading this article.

  • Pain And Discomfort On The Eye Area 

In general, experiencing pain and discomfort in the eyes are some of the first symptoms you may notice when having an eye infection.

Aside from that, some signs of how these conditions manifest may include redness, swelling, watery eyes, itchiness, liquid discharge, and crusting. 

Doctors commonly advise patients to rest for a few days to alleviate these symptoms until the swelling, irritation, or crusting subsides. Some ailments also require topical medications, eye drops, or antibiotics, with regular cleaning and eye protection.

  • Mild To Severe Visual Impairment 

Eye infections, such as infective conjunctivitis or pink eye, stye, keratitis, or blepharitis, can cause temporary mild visual impairment. Tissues surrounding the eyes may bulge or swell, which can get in the way when opening one’s eye or limit eyelid movement. 

In some cases, the patient afflicted may have blurry vision, making it difficult to see clearly. As the infection subsides, vision returns to normal, and the lids can move without difficulties.

In extreme cases, however, eye infections can cause complete blindness, especially if left untreated.   

Partial or temporary visual impairment can pose severe risks to the patient. Apart from the discomfort it brings, it can also put people in danger when moving without caution or assistance.

And with that, allow the eyes to recuperate and fully regain vision before continuing regular activities or daily routines.

  • Respiratory Problems 

Aside from the eyes being irritated, swollen, and watery, the nose and throat can also be affected by viral conjunctivitis. In some cases, the virus or bacteria can quickly spread through them and thus, may potentially affect the upper respiratory system.

For this reason, it may be common to experience colds, coughs, and other flu-like symptoms with eye infections.   

While symptoms of respiratory illnesses can go away naturally as the infection subsides, you can also consider taking medication and using natural remedies for relief. Some examples of natural remedies you can use include:  

  • Essential oils such as peppermint and eucalyptus  
  • Dietary spirulina  
  • Honey  
  • Probiotics  

Besides these natural remedies, you may also relieve colds and coughs by sipping warm liquids, staying hydrated, and getting enough rest until symptoms subside.   

  • Body Pain 

The nerves and tissues surrounding the eyes can also be negatively impacted when an infection occurs. Because of this, it’s common for people to experience some bodily pain as the virus enters their system.

That said, here are some of the common types of physical pain caused by eye infection:

  • Headache 

As the eye infection affects vision and movement, the tissues and nerves surrounding the eyes may exert more effort to sustain regular activity. Because of this, the nerves could get strained, which can trigger headaches.  

  • Stiff Neck 

Some medical conditions that could potentially result in eye infection may cause inflammation in the head and neck area, which then could cause the neck muscles to swell and stiffen.  

  • Facial Numbness 

Same with a stiff neck, conditions that may lead to infection can damage facial nerves responsible for sensation, causing temporary numbness.  

Apart from these, it’s also possible to experience muscle pain in other parts of the face and body since the infection can quickly spread. Hence, if your eye infection causes you to feel serious pain and discomfort, it’s best to see your doctor to get a full diagnosis.  

  • Fever 

When infections afflict the body, its response commonly entails raising internal temperatures to kill the bacteria and protect itself from harm.

This natural response causes fever and usually subsides on its own once the infection goes away. Hence, it’s common for people to feel sick and feverish when they have eye infections.  

You can take over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen or paracetamol to alleviate fever. Meanwhile, you can consult with your doctor regarding fever symptoms if you’ve been prescribed to take antibiotics to treat your eye infection.

Some antibiotics may induce fever, which is why it’s crucial to seek the advice of a health professional when treating fever symptoms while taking them.  

  • Sore Throat 

Some eye infections are caused by viruses that can affect other body parts, such as the nose and the throat. Hence, you can also experience a sore throat if you have an eye infection.

Viruses that cause pink eye may typically go away without medication. Symptoms are expected to fade off their own after several days or weeks with adequate care and rest.  

In addition, you can consider home remedies such as honey, chamomile, and peppermint tea to alleviate a sore throat. You can also gargle water with baking soda, salt, or apple cider vinegar every so often until the pain or irritation subsides.  

  • Lethargy 

Having an eye infection can instantly zap a person’s energy levels. This effect is commonly brought about by limited vision, making it challenging to move and resume daily activities.

Moreover, the pain, discomfort, and other symptoms caused by eye infections can make a person feel less energetic and motivated to move like usual.  

Thus, it’s best to rest and let your body recharge fully if you’re feeling lethargic. This way, you won’t feel too strained or stressed as you recuperate from your illness. Moreso, you can also avoid any untoward incidents caused by limited or impaired vision. 

The Eye


Generally, an eye infection is a short-term illness that could heal on its own, provided that the eye area is kept clean and protected from irritants.

However, it could also become a cause of concern if the infection is accompanied by pain, swelling, and other ailments such as respiratory problems or fever.

In this case, the patient will require immediate medical attention and treatment to ensure the infection doesn’t spread and harm the body further.  

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