If you have red eye that does not go away with home remedies or over-the-counter treatments, go see your eye doctor. Red eye accompanied by pain, sensitivity to light, swelling, or blurry vision means immediate medical attention is needed.
Red eyes are a common problem that usually happen when blood vessels on the surface of your eye get larger. If you have red eyes, this is happening because something has irritated you and caused your blood vessels to enlarge. Red eyes happen on one or both of your eyes and can develop slowly or suddenly, like if you're allergic to something or if you had an eye injury.
Red eyes are different than other eye conditions and most often do not require a doctor. But like all conditions, they can also be more serious. Red eye is usually harmless, but it can also be indicative of a more complicated problem, such as Horner's syndrome or diabetic retinopathy.
If you have red eyes for more than one week, or if they're affecting your vision, or if there is pain, make an appointment with an ophthalmologist as soon as possible to get a diagnosis and the right treatment.
There are several possible causes of red eyes, including:
-Allergies: Allergic reactions can cause the blood vessels in your eyes to swell, leading to redness.
-Eye infection: Bacterial or viral infections can cause your eyes to become red and irritated.
-Dry eye: If your eyes are not producing enough tears, they can become dry and red.
-Corneal ulcer: An ulcer on the surface of your eye can cause redness and pain.
-Foreign body in the eye: A small particle of dirt or other material in your eye can cause irritation and redness.
If you experience any of the following symptoms, you may have red eyes:
- Eye pain or discomfort: If you experience eye pain or discomfort, it is important to consult with an eye doctor to rule out any underlying conditions. Depending on the cause of your symptoms, there are a variety of treatment options available.
- Excessive tearing: If you are experiencing excessive tearing, it is important to consult with an eye doctor to determine the underlying cause. Allergies and dry eye syndrome can often be treated with over-the-counter medications, but more serious conditions like infections may require prescription medication or surgery.
- Sensitivity to light: Most people experience some level of sensitivity to light, especially when they are tired. However, if you find yourself constantly squinting or rubbing your eyes in an attempt to reduce the amount of light entering them, it could be a sign of a more serious problem.
- Blurry vision: If your vision is blurry, it may be a sign of a more serious underlying condition. If you experience blurred vision, it is important to see your doctor or ophthalmologist right away. Blurred vision can be a symptom of many different eye conditions, such as red eye.
- Stringy mucus in the eye: If you have stringy mucus in your eye, it could be a sign of a serious health condition. The mucus may be clear or white, and it can be accompanied by other symptoms like redness, itching, and discharge. You should seek medical attention as soon as you can if you experience any of these signs.
- Swollen eyes: If your eyes are swollen, it could be due to a number of different factors. Allergies, infections, and even redness can cause your eyes to swell. If you have swelling in just one eye, it could be due to an injury or something as simple as sleeping on that side of your face. However, if both eyes are swollen, it’s more likely due to an underlying condition.
If you're dealing with red eyes, there are a few things you can do to find relief. First, try using artificial tear drops to lubricate your eyes and reduce irritation. You can also try using a cool compress to reduce inflammation. If your red eyes are due to allergies, you can take an antihistamine to help relieve your symptoms. If your red eyes are due to fatigue or lack of sleep, make sure you're getting enough rest and increase your fluid intake. Finally, if you wear contact lenses, give your eyes a break and try wearing glasses for a day or two.
If you experience any redness in your eyes, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible. While some causes of red eye are benign and will resolve on their own, others can be indicative of a more serious condition. Therefore, it is always best to err on the side of caution and have a medical professional take a look. In general, you should see a doctor if:
-The redness does not go away after using over-the-counter artificial tears or lubricating ointment
-Your vision is significantly affected or you begin experiencing pain in your eyes
-The whites of your eyes are bloodshot without any obvious explanation (e.g., you didn’t spend the night before drinking alcohol)
-You notice any discharge or crusting around your eyelids
There are a number of different symptoms that can be associated with red eye, and it is important to be aware of them so that you can seek medical attention if necessary. If you experience any pain, discharge, or change in vision, it is important to see an ophthalmologist as soon as possible. However, even if you only have mild redness or irritation, it is still a good idea to consult with an eye doctor to rule out any underlying conditions.
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