The 9 common signs of STIs you can spot in your eyes

STI rates are rising in the UK – but not everyone knows how to recognize the signs of infection.

More common symptoms such as burning when peeing or itching in the intimate area are more familiar.

Pharmacists have noticed symptoms in your eyes that could indicate that you have a sexually transmitted disease


Pharmacists have noticed symptoms in your eyes that could indicate that you have a sexually transmitted disease

However, changes in your eyes can also indicate that you are carrying an infection.

Abbas Kanani from Chemist Click Online Pharmacy said: “Eye pain and redness is usually one of the first signs.

“However, because this is common and can have a variety of causes, it can be easy to miss.”


Chlamydia is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the UK.

Most people experience no symptoms, putting them at risk of serious long-term health problems, including infertility.

Mr Kanani said you can sometimes detect an infection by looking for changes in the eyes.

He said: “Irritation, pain, swelling and discharge that normally only affects one eye could be signs of chlamydia in the eye.”

“It occurs when Chlamydia trachomatis – the bacterium that causes the infection – has direct contact with the mucous membrane – the wet part of the eye.

“It is also known as chlamydial conjunctivitis or ocular chlamydia. Symptoms of an early stage chlamydial eye infection may develop slowly.”

Chlamydia can be diagnosed through a urine test or swab of the affected area and is easily treated with antibiotics.

Mr Kanani said: “Chlamydia in the eye is contagious. It spreads easily through genital fluid through eye contact or even eye contact.

“Doxycycline is the first-line treatment because it is more effective. Tablets are usually taken orally.

“It is important to have an accurate diagnosis because using eye drops for normal eye infections not caused by chlamydia does not help and may delay recovery time.”

“It is important to finish all prescribed antibiotics to ensure the infection is fully treated. Most cases disappear within a few weeks.”


Gonorrhea – or “the goo” – is another common infection that can cause eye symptoms.

A record 82,592 Brits were diagnosed last year, a 50.3 per cent increase on 2021, when rates of all sexually transmitted diseases fell due to Covid restrictions.

The infection is caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae.

Mr Kanani said: “Both men and women can develop an infection from unprotected anal or oral sex, not only in the eyes but also in the rectum or throat.”

“Adults can transmit it if their eyes come into contact with infected fluids.”

Infections can also cause sensitivity to light and pus-like discharge from one or both eyes.

Gonococcal conjunctivitis is a conjunctivitis that develops due to a gonorrhea infection.

You may also experience swelling of the inner lining of your eyelids – known as chemosis – sensitivity to touch or pressure on your eyes, and fluid buildup around your eyelids

Another sign is swelling of the lymph nodes near your eyes.


Another sexually transmitted disease that reached record levels last year is syphilis.

The number of infections rose to 8,629 in 2022, an increase of 15.2 percent compared to 2021 and 8.1 percent compared to 2019, i.e. before the Covid pandemic.

Although rare, untreated ocular syphilis can lead to reduced visual acuity and even permanent blindness.

Kylie Jenner was slammed for
Surfer describes the terrifying moment a shark bit him on the FACE

Mr Kanani said: “If you notice floating spots in the field of vision, sensitivity to light and visual disturbances such as blurred vision, this may be an indication that you have ocular syphilis.”

“If you think you may have a sexually transmitted infection, including of the eye, you should seek treatment as soon as possible and inform your recent sexual partners so they can also be tested.”

Aila Slisco

Aila Slisco is a Dailynationtoday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Aila Slisco joined Dailynationtoday in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

Related Articles

Back to top button