Eye infection from Chlamydia/Gonorrhea


Q: Can Chlamydia or Gonorrhea infect the eye? If so, can this be transmitted from eye to hand, then hand to hand, and then hand to an uninfected eye? For instance, transmtting the infection via shaking hands with someone who recently touch their infected eye?

Symptoms:  Both eyes teary, crusty, mucousy, swollen, closing shut

A:   Hello,
Thanks for the query to askthedoctor.com

Yes, Chlamydia can affect both or either eyes as well. The strain or type of chlamydia which is common for eye infection and urogenital infection is common and called Chlamydia Trachomatis.
There are three main species of Chlamydia causing human infection: Chlamydia trachomatis, Chlamydia pneumoniae (also known as Chlamydophila pneumoniae), and Chlamydia psittacci. C. pneumoniae and C. psittacci cause respiratory infections.
C. trachomatis causes infections that can affect the eyes, urogenital area, or cause pneumonia in infants born to infected mothers, depending on how the infection is transmitted.C. trachomatis infection is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections (STIs).Ocular infection (trachoma or adult inclusion conjunctivitis) is transmitted through contaminated hands, droplets, clothing, and flies.

If one is suffering from trachoma in one eye, then it has to be understood that it is an extremely infectious disease and can spread to the other eye as you said if one rubs the eye and touches the other eye or it can be transmitted to other's eye through even shaking hands.
If you have been infected with the same, then you should visit your physician and you may have to be started on antibiotics to control and treat the infection.
I hope i have answered your query in detail.
Wishing you good health,

Comments / Follow Ups

Patient: Can Gonorrhea cause eye infection as well?
Doctor: Yes it can cause gonococcal opthamitis as well.

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