Types of Viral Eye Infection

Written by carol wiley
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Types of Viral Eye Infection
Viral eye infections cause inflammation and pain. (Image by Fotolia.com, courtesy of sylbohec)

Various viruses can infect the eye and lead to viral eye infections that cause symptoms, including inflammation, pain, and sometimes scarring of the cornea.

Viral Conjunctivitis

Viral conjunctivitis is a type of pink eye, a common contagious eye infection in children. According to All About Vision, no treatments are effective against the viruses that cause viral conjunctivitis, but it usually goes away on its own after about five days. Your doctor may prescribe medications to reduce the symptoms.

Herpes Keratitis

The type 1 herpes simplex virus causes herpes keratitis, which is a viral corneal infection and the most common form of eye herpes. Herpes keratitis generally affects only the top layer of the cornea and usually heals with no scarring.

Stromal Keratitis

The type 1 herpes simplex virus also causes stromal keratitis, a rare infection that goes deep into the layers of the cornea. Stromal keratitis can cause scarring, loss of vision and blindness.


A serious type of eye herpes where the iris and surrounding tissues inside the eye become inflamed is iridocyclitis. It causes severe sensitivity to light, blurred vision, pain and redness.


Herpes Zoster (shingles) can infect the eye. According to the National Eye Institute, doctors often prescribe oral antiviral medication to reduce the risk of the virus that infect cells deep in the tissue, which can inflame and scar the cornea.

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