We see many patients in our Mililani ophthalmology practice, which gives us a front-row seat to a number of different conditions. There are certain symptoms that are more common than others. Redness, for instance, is a more common problem than eye pain. However common a symptom may seem, though, it is important to know what could be causing it so unnecessary stress does not linger. Here, we are going to look at some of the common reasons that eyes may become red and irritated, and what to do about them.
If your eyes are red and irritated, it could be due to:
- Pink eye. This infection is relatively common among children, involving itching, stinging, burning, discharge, excessive watering, and swelling of the eyelid. Pink eye is typically perceived as a highly-contagious infection, but there is also a type that related to allergies and is not contagious. What to do: If pink eye, or conjunctivitis, is suspected, do not rub the eyes. Relief may be obtained with cool compresses. If discharge is yellow or green, if you have a fever, or if discharge causes the eyelids to be stuck together in the morning, schedule a consultation for treatment.
- Allergies. Seasonal allergies or allergic reaction to fumes or pet dander can lead to itchy, watery, puffy, red eyes. What to do: If you know you have allergies, and they are severe, you may talk with your doctor about specific allergy medication. For temporary relief from symptoms, place cool compresses over the eyes and take an over-the-counter allergy medication.
- Broken blood vessel. These tiny vessels throughout the eye can burst under substantial physical exertion, as a result of eye-rubbing, or simply because. The appearance of a broken blood vessel can be alarming due to the leakage of blood into the white of the eye. Typically, this condition is temporary and harmless. What to do: If a blood vessel in the eye bursts, it is a good idea to have your eye doctor perform an assessment to ensure there is no underlying condition that requires treatment. The broken vessel itself typically requires no treatment.
Eye trauma. An injury to the eye or face could lead to broken blood vessels, blurred vision, scratched cornea, or even a detached retina. What to do: Eye injuries should be evaluated by your eye doctor. Discomfort may be treated with cool compresses until care can be obtained. Depending on the severity of pain or the injury itself, a visit to the nearest emergency room may be necessary.
Do you need a visit with Dr. Omphroy? Give us a call at 808-625-5577.