Having red eyes can indicate a number of underlying conditions ranging from a bacterial infection like conjunctivitis (pink eye) to an allergic reaction. Here, Downtown Eyes, your trusted vision care clinic, answers some common questions about red eyes.
What Are the Causes and Types of Red Eyes?
There are three general types of red eye: allergic, viral, and bacterial. The allergic type occurs when you come in contact with irritants like dust, pollen, or animal dander, and is often accompanied by itching and watery eyes.
Our reliable eye doctor explains that the viral type usually resolves on its own within a few days. That said, it is important to observe proper hygiene to prevent it from spreading. Bacterial red eye is the most contagious of the three types, and can lead to dry eyes, blepharitis, and other eye infections.
What Are Its Symptoms?
Symptoms may vary according to the red eye classification. Viral and allergic conjunctivitis usually cause watery and itchy eyes, as well as increased sensitivity to light. The bacterial type is often accompanied by a sticky, yellowish discharge at the corners of your eyes.
How Is It Treated?
If you experience any of these symptoms, visit our expert eye doctor or optometrist as soon as possible. We will perform an eye exam to determine what type of red eye you may have.
For allergic red eye, we may prescribe antihistamines and corticosteroids. If you have viral red eye, we will suggest applying cold washcloth over your eyes to relieve your discomfort. Bacterial red eye requires antibiotic treatment to control its progression and to prevent it from spreading.
If you have any further questions about red eye, call us at (612) 333-EYES (3937) or complete our form to request an appointment. We look forward to helping families in Minneapolis and other nearby areas achieve better visual health.