What is eye inflammation?

Inflammation is your body’s response to injury, infection or irritation. In some cases, inflammation can occur in response to normally harmless substances, such as dust, grass or pollen. This is an allergic reaction. The immune system may also trigger inflammation in response to the body’s own tissues. This is called an autoimmune reaction.

Eye inflammation occurs in response to infection, allergies, autoimmune disorders, irritation, or injury or trauma to the eye or eyelid. Symptoms of eye inflammation can affect the eyes, eyelids, or surrounding tissues and include:

  • Blurry vision
  • Pain

  • Redness

  • Swelling

  • Tearing

  • Unusual warmth or heat

Eye inflammation is common and happens to people of all ages. It can last from a few minutes to years, depending on the type and severity of the underlying disease, disorder or condition. Inflammation may occur in one or both eyes at a time, and it may be accompanied by itching, excessive tear production, eye discharge, or other symptoms of the eyes and surrounding tissues. Treatment for eye inflammation depends on the underlying cause.

Eye inflammation can be a sign of a serious condition, such as an anaphylactic reaction, orbital cellulitis, or corneal abrasion. Seek prompt medical care if you have eye inflammation that is unexplained or persistent, or that causes you concern. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if you have had any type of injury or trauma to the eye or if you have eyelid, facial or mouth swelling, severe difficulty breathing, or any type of sudden change in your vision.


What other symptoms might occur with eye inflammation?

Eye inflammation occurs in response to a variety of diseases, disorders and conditions. Symptoms of inflammation include redness, swelling, pain, and unusual warmth or heat of the eye, eyelid, or surrounding tissues. Eye inflammation may be accompanied by other symptoms, depending on the underlying cause.

Eye symptoms that occur with eye inflammation

Eye inflammation ma... Read more about eye inflammationsymptoms


What causes eye inflammation?

Inflammation is your body’s response to injury, infection or irritation. Eye inflammation can be caused by allergies, infections, autoimmune diseases, injuries to the eye, and abrasions in the eye.

Allergic causes of eye inflammation

Allergic reactions are a common cause of eye inflammation. Examples include:

  • Drug allergies

    Read more about eye inflammationcauses

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Annual Review Date: Aug 9, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Eyes and Vision

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