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How Quickly Do Your Eyes Heal After an Infection?

Eye infections have many causes. Thankfully, the body is usually extremely efficient at fighting the infection. Depending on the root cause, eye infections can take anything from a few days to several weeks to fully heal. They may or may not require antibiotic intervention. 

The following looks at some of the most common infections and how long it typically takes for your eyes to fully heal.

Eye Infections, Different Types, & Typical Healing Timescales

  • An overview of eye infections
  • 8 common causes and how quickly do your eyes heal after an infection?

An overview of eye infections

While eye infections have many underlying causes, symptoms tend to present in quite similar ways. This could include some or all of the following:

  • Pain
  • Swelling—either generalized on a specific spot
  • Discharge
  • Redness
  • Excessive watering
  • Grittiness
  • Itching and/or feeling like there’s something in the eye

Many minor eye infections will clear up themselves with zero or minimal intervention. The amount of time it takes will depend on the severity of the infection and whether the cause is viral, bacterial, or fungal.

8 common causes and how quickly do your eyes heal after an infection?

  • Pink Eye: One of the most common types of eye infections. It can be either viral, bacterial., or caused by an allergy—such as chlorine. It typically causes the eye/ to have a pink or red tinge, hence the name (although the clinical name is conjunctivitis). If it’s of a bacterial origin, improvement should start within a couple of days of taking antibiotics. Viral conjunctivitis only requires strategic cleaning and hygiene. It typically gets better within 7-10 days. Allergic conjunctivitis needs antihistamines and improvement should start with an hour or so of treatment.
  • A sty: This stems from a blocked oil gland on the eyelid. Bacteria grows within the gland and begins to swell into a pimple. Using a warm compress a few times a day and an over-the-counter (OTC) antibiotic ointment will usually see the problem improve within 7-10 days.
  • Blepharitis: This also stems from clogged oil glands on the inside of the eyelid—but involves multiple, rather than just one. It can also be bacterial in origin. Treatment includes cleaning the eyelid multiple times per day and using lubricating eye drops. Steroids and antibiotics are also required in some cases. Again, improvement should be seen within 7-10 days.
  • Keratitis: An infection of the cornea, it can be either fungal, parasitic, bacterial, or viral. Your eye doctor will treat it according to the root cause. Keratitis can take anything from a few days to a few weeks to heal.
  • Uveitis: An infection of the central part of the eyeball, it can be caused by trauma, certain viruses, or a variety of immune system conditions. Treatment varies according to the cause and, in some cases, can take many months to fully heal.
  • Eye Herpes: Caused by the herpes virus, it often heals with little to no intervention over a few weeks. However, your eye doctor might prescribe steroid eye drops and or antiviral medication in some cases.
  • Endophthalmitis: This can be extremely painful. It typically occurs after eye trauma (either accidental or an invasive operation). It usually requires antibiotics and often corticosteroids. The healing process is usually quite fast—in a matter of days—once treatment commences. 
  • Eye cellulitis: Mild cases heal quite quickly, often only requiring warm compresses and antibiotics. In very severe cases, surgery might be necessary.

Worried Eye Infections or Infection After Eye Surgery? Contact the WBEC Today

The West Boca Eye Center is a leading clinical facility that specializes in eye care, cutting-edge cataract surgery, laser eye vision correction, and every other aspect of eye health. We’re also world leaders in higher risk-cataract operations. our lead clinician, Brent Bellotte M.D. plays a crucial role in the advancement of the procedure and is well-known globally for his pioneering work.

Whether you’re concerned that you might have an eye infection or are looking for the ultimate facility to perform your cataract operation, patients at the WBEC can relax in the knowledge that they’re in the very best hands.

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How Quickly Do Your Eyes Heal After an Infection?
How Quickly Do Your Eyes Heal After an Infection?

Eye infections have many causes. Thankfully, the body is usually extremely efficient at fighting the infection.

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West Boca Eye Center
9325 Glades Road, Suite 201.
Boca Raton, FL 33434

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