Usually this is from touching the eyes and transferring bacteria from the hands. If you have itchy eyes from allergies or dry eyes, you could be rubbing them a lot. Rubbing the delicate eye tissue causes wrinkles, so there are many reasons to avoid it. Also wash your hands, including the nails on both sides of the nail as a lot of germs hang on there.
Another cause of eye discomfort is dry eyes. Consider whether you eat too many simple sugary foods and processed foods. Maybe a probiotic and more vegetables are needed (but I don't know how you are eating). There are eye drops for dry eyes, and my eye doc likes certain brands like Systane because they are preservative-free.
There is an autoimmune disease that causes dry eyes also. Sjogren's. Hopefully it's not that. I know your problem is infections, but usually eye infections are from touching, so I am thinking of causes for rubbing. Oh, and also the nose and ears are all closely linked to the eyes, so maybe there is some other hidden infection going on.
I agree with the above post in that rubbing your eyes will transmit whatever is on your hands to the eyes.. But it can also be a virus. Also, could be an allergy. Since it goes away on its own it may not bacterial. You can also ask that question on the Eye Care forum. There is an eye doctor on that site.
Thanks again for your thoughtful reply. I had a doctor suggest using baby shampoo on me eyelids in a hot shower.......we'll see.