Can you see bacteria in your eyes

Eye inflammation: These can be the causes

Different types of eye infections and their causes

There are numerous types of eye infections, which differ greatly in their causes, symptoms, possible consequences for your eyes and, above all, in the treatment methods.

If your doctor can't clearly determine what you're suffering from on an initial check-up, a sample may be taken to see which ones Bacteria, viruses or fungi cause inflammation. This facilitates effective treatment, e.g. B. with an antibiotic that is tailored precisely to the corresponding bacterial strain.



Conjunctivitis (as conjunctivitis is technically called) is a common, highly contagious eye infection that in most cases is caused by bacteria or viruses. It is often spread among children in day care centers, classrooms, and similar settings. Teachers are also at an increased risk of conjunctivitis because they are in close contact with the little ones. Infants can contract conjunctival eye infections (gonococcal and chlamydial conjunctivitis) during birth if their mother carries a sexually transmitted disease.


Inflammation of the cornea (keratitis)

Keratitis also has many different manifestations. It can be caused by external irritation (e.g. acid, UV radiation, foreign bodies in the eye), bacteria, fungi, viruses or even amoebas. There are also (rare) forms of corneal inflammation that have neurological causes or are congenital.

Contact lens wearers in particular are exposed to an increased risk, B. through the contact lenses themselves, the cleaning solution or contaminated hands - pathogens can easily reach the eyes. For this reason, you should always strictly follow the care instructions and also disinfect the contact lenses after contact with possibly contaminated water (e.g. after swimming).



Trachoma is a serious eye infection that occurs mainly in tropical developing countries with inadequate hygienic conditions. There it is one of the main causes of blindness. It is caused by bacteria spread by flies in unsanitary environments.

The inflammation of the eyes begins on the inner eyelid and, if left untreated, can lead to scarring. This deforms the lid, the eyelashes “rub” the cornea and destroy it, which inevitably leads to blindness.

The only way to contain the disease is to establish improved hygiene standards and make antibiotics available.



Endophthalmitis can also be triggered by bacteria and viruses as well as fungi and parasites. The most common, however, is the bacterial form of eye inflammation, which can occur as a result of an injury to the eye or after an eye operation. Endophthalmitis develops less frequently as a secondary disease after a body infection. Overall, however, this type of eye infection is rare.

The inflammation affects the entire inside of the eye and, without immediate treatment with strong antibiotics, leads to severe vision loss or even blindness.


Barley grain / hailstone

Barley and hailstones are also inflammations of the eyes, which in this case develop on the inside of the eyelids. They are easy to recognize by the purulent swelling, which you should never open yourself: Otherwise there is a risk that the pathogens will spread further and cause more severe infections such as orbital cellulite.

Orbital cellulite is an infection of the tissue around the eyeball that needs to be treated as soon as possible. If the pathogens continue to spread undisturbed, this can lead to blindness, meningitis or even death.