Information for Patients
Your eyes can get infections from bacteria, fungi, or viruses. Eye infections can occur in different parts of the eye and can affect just one eye or both. Two common eye infections are
- Conjunctivitis - also known as pinkeye. Conjunctivitis is often due to an infection. Children frequently get it, and it is very contagious.
- Stye - a bump on the eyelid that happens when bacteria from your skin get into the hair follicle of an eyelash.
Symptoms of eye infections may include redness, itching, swelling, discharge, pain, or problems with vision. Treatment depends on the cause of the infection and may include compresses, eye drops, creams, or antibiotics.
Meningococci are a type of bacteria that cause serious infections. The most common infection is meningitis, which is an inflammation of the thin tissue that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. Meningococci can also cause other problems, including a serious bloodstream infection called sepsis.
Meningococcal infections can spread from person to person. Risk factors include
- Age - it is more common in infants, teens, and young adults
- Living in close quarters, such as in college dorms or military settings
- Certain medical conditions, such as not having a spleen
- Travel to areas where meningococcal disease is common
In its early stages, you may have flu-like symptoms and a stiff neck. But the disease can progress quickly and can be fatal. Early diagnosis and treatment are extremely important. Lab tests on your blood and cerebrospinal fluid can tell if you have it. Treatment is with antibiotics. Since the infection spreads from person to person, family members may also need to be treated.
A vaccine can prevent meningococcal infections.