Red eye is a general term describing redness of the eye due to illness, injury, allergy or contact with anything else that may irritate the eyes. Also referred to as “blood shot” eyes, the condition is usually not painful. The redness is caused by irritation to the membranes covering the whites of the eyes.
- Red streaks in the whites of the eyes
- Discharge and swelling may accompany the redness and indicate an infection known commonly as “pink eye” or conjuntivitis
Who is at risk?
Anyone. School aged children tend to pass pink eye around because of constant contact and sharing of classroom objects. The viruses and bacteria that cause these conjunctival infections can be picked up from inanimate objects as well.
If the redness is bacterial, a physician will prescribe an antibiotic. There are drops, both over the counter and prescription, that alleviate redness due to allergy, but a physician or ophthalmologist should direct the use of any eye drops. Chemical irritation needs to be flushed immediately and pain medication might be prescribed to ease the burning sensation until the irritation has cleared.
Emergency Warning Signs: When should I see a doctor?
Seek advice from a doctor or ophthalmologist to examine and diagnose your problem. If chemicals or cleaning solvents get in your eyes, flush with huge amounts of fresh water and seek emergency medical help immediately. Bacterial infections and eye injuries require a doctor’s care. Never take chances with your eyesight.
Treatment for red eyes (conjunctivitis) is available now at OnPoint Urgent Care in Aurora, Highlands Ranch, or Lone Tree Colorado.
For more information on conjunctivitis, see the following websites:
Mayo Clinic on Pink Eye
Disclaimer: The links above are to sites independent of OnPointUrgentCare.com. The pages will open in a new browser window. The information provided is for educational purposes only, and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, you should consult your doctor. Always follow your doctor’s recommendations regarding your specific medical questions, treatments, therapies, and other needs.