What Are the Most Common Viral Eye Infections?


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Common viral infections include pink eye and ocular herpes, according to AllAboutVision.com. Any person can get a viral eye infection because they are all contagious; however, the symptoms vary from one infection to another.

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Also known as conjunctivitis, pink eye is a common viral eye infection that often spreads among children in schools, day care centers and other crowded environments, says AllAboutVision.com. Doctors use patient history and the symptoms to diagnose pink eye. For example, if pink eye accompanies a respiratory tract infection or common cold and the eye discharge is watery, then it is likely to be a viral pink eye, explains Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Doctors recommend lab testing using eye discharge when they suspect a severe form of a viral pink eye. Common accompanying symptoms include flu, fever and measles.

Ocular herpes, also known as herpes eye disease, is a viral eye infection caused by the herpes simplex virus Type 1, notes the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus. The virus can affect any part of the eye, causing a rash with blisters on the eyelids. If the condition affects the surface of the eye, it causes redness, headache, tearing and light sensitivity. Most cases usually clear without causing any permanent problems; however, if scarring of the cornea occurs, it is vital to seek medical attention.

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