Maybe your eyes are itchy and they're starting to turn a shade of pink. Could it be an infection, you wonder? Your doctor can make the final call, but there are key signs to watch for that can give you clues.

An infection in your eye can show up in many different ways. A lot depends on which part of your eye has the problem. For instance, you can get symptoms in your:

Cornea (clear surface that covers the outside of your eye)
Conjunctiva (thin, moist area that covers the inside of the eyelids and outer layer of your eye)
Symptoms of an Eye Infection
You may have symptoms in one or both eyes when you have an infection. Look out for this kind of trouble:
How your eye feels. You may notice problems like:
Pain or discomfort
Itchy eyes
Feeling that something's on or in your eye
Eye hurts when it's bright (light sensitivity)
Burning in your eyes
Small, painful lump under your eyelid or at the base of your eyelashes
Eyelid is tender when you touch it
Eyes won't stop tearing up
Irritation in your eyes


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How your eye looks. You could have changes like:
Discharge out of one or both eyes that's yellow, green, or clear
Pink color in the "whites" of your eyes
Swollen, red, or purple eyelids
Crusty lashes and lids, especially in the morning
How well you see. You may find you have blurry vision.

Some other problems you may get are fever, trouble wearing contacts, and swollen lymph nodes near your ear.

Types of Eye Infections
After you see your doctor, she may name the infection you have. You may hear her use medical terms like:

Pinkeye (conjunctivitis). It's an infection of your conjunctiva and usually gives your eyes a pink tint. It can be caused by a bacteria or virus, although sometimes you might get it from an allergic reaction or irritants. It's common to get pinkeye when you have a cold.

Keratitis. This is an infection of your cornea. It can be caused by bacteria, viruses, or parasites in water. It's a common problem for people who wear contact lenses.

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