Understanding Red Eye By Dr.Ukandu Rightway OD, MSPH(in view), MNOA

Understanding Red Eye By Dr.Ukandu Rightway OD, MSPH(in view), MNOA

Understanding eye redness

Redness of the eye is arguably the most common sign of the eye that could indicate several different health conditions. It is worth paying a very careful attention to, as some may not be a cause for concern, others may require medical attention.
Redness of the eye happens when the small blood vessels on the eye surface expand or dilate. A lot of serious eye problems present with redness of the eyes of which some are medical emergencies. Eye redness can also be benign.
There are many common causes of eye redness including dry air, dust, exposure to sunlight, infections (bacterial or viral), coughing and etc. Also blunt trauma, heavy lifting, eyestrain or coughing can cause subconjunctival hemorrhage, a condition where a patch of blood appear beneath the conjunctiva (clear lining of the eye); it is usually painless and can resolve within a few days.

Red Eye – The serious concern

Eye redness – The serious Concerns:
Eye infections and inflammations like blepharitis, bacterial and allergic conjunctivitis, corneal ulcers, uveitis, glaucoma, eye injury, scleritis, eyelid stye, smoking and Rheumatoid arthritis are all cause for concern when redness of eye is noticed; These conditions are usually associated with additional signs and symptoms.

What to do with Red Eye

Usually redness of the eye that is benign do not last more than a few days long and are not associated with pain, vision loss, light sensitivity or discharge. However, any redness of the eye associated with any or multiple of the symptoms mentioned earlier should contact and see their eye doctor (Optometrist) immediately.

Important notice – Your eye doctor

Even though redness of the eye can sometimes not be severe, it is very important that you contact and see your Optometrist immediately if the eye redness is as a result of a trauma to the eye, if you take medications that cause blood thinning, if you see shadows or haloes or rings or flashes of light, if you experience headaches and blurry vision.
Eye redness rarely have complications but eye redness with accompanied vision loss can lead to accidents, affect daily performance, and possibly lead to permanent vision loss where it is a sign of a more serious eye conditions if left untreated. Always seek professional help when you notice eye redness.

Home remedies and first aid

It is very essential that if you notice your eye(s) is red due to an unknown or known circumstance then you have a role to play at home to alleviate the symptoms associated with the eye redness.
Warm Compresses on the eye (with eyes closed and with disinfected towel and water) can alleviate symptoms of blepharitis and conjunctivitis.
Washing of hands regularly during this period can reduce infection, reinfection and possibly aberrations.
And as soon as it’s possible on the same day, make an appointment with your Optometrist for professional help.

Prevention is definitely better than cure

There are feasible ways to prevent eye redness by practicing good hygiene and avoiding irritants that cause eye redness. Always wash your hands when you come in contact with contaminated surfaces including if you come in contact with someone who has an eye infection, avoid tasks that cause eye strain and seek advise from your Optometrist always.

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