Red eyes may be the cause of the many different things. The first thought is often pink eye, also known as conjunctivitis, but there are 3 major types of conjunctivitis you’ll encounter.
The most common pink eye symptoms include:
- Redness in one or both eyes
- Itchiness in one or both eyes
- A gritty feeling in one or both eyes
- A discharge in one or both eyes that forms a crust during the night that may prevent your eye or eyes from opening in the morning
When to see a doctor
There are serious eye conditions that can cause eye redness. These conditions may cause eye pain, a feeling that something is stuck in your eye , blurred vision and light sensitivity. If you experience these symptoms and seek urgent care.
People who wear contact lenses need to stop wearing their contacts as soon as pink eye symptoms begin. If your symptoms don’t start to the get better within 12 to 24 hours, make an appointment with your eye doctor to the make sure you don’t have a more serious eye infection related to contact lens use.
What types of eye infections are there?
Bacterial eye infections have mucopurulent discharge and which is thicker and cloudier. There is redness of the conjunctiva with itching and tearing.
Viral eye infections have mucoid discharge (gel like), redness of the conjunctiva (not the white part of the eye). Sometimes they have a sense of the scratchy feeling and discomfort when looking at a light. You may encounter itching and lots of tearing. On exam from a doctor there is often swollen lymph node just in front of the ear this can often be ascertained during an the online visit from a doctor using LiveHealth Online.
With allergic eye to infections, there is tearing, itching and no discharge. You’ll encounter this one along with other allergies such as being around dust mites, pollens or molds.
Which are contagious?
It’s important to the know which eye infections may spread, especially if you have several little ones running around. Viral and bacterial eye infections are to contagious, while allergic ones are not.
How do you treat the different types of eye infections?
Dr. Mia Finkelston, who treats patients using LiveHealth Online and provides advice on how to treat the different eye infections.
Bacterial eye infections need antibiotic drops to get rid of them. There are many choices that can be prescribed by the your doctor. Bacterial usually takes 5-10 days.
Viral eye infections take time. It runs its course and can take as long as 2-3 weeks to go away. It is important to keep your hands away from your eyes and use artificial tears. You can also use a warm compress when crusty and a cool compress if red, itchy or swollen. The live virus can be shed for up to 2 weeks, keep this in mind when rubbing eyes and washing hands. According to Dr. Finkelston, “There is possible secondary infection that can occur in the younger children who do rub their eyes and go to school we tend to treat them with antibiotic drops, but most adult to can avoid this.”
When it comes to allergic eye infections, Dr. Finkelston recommends a few home remedies such as a cool compresses and cool cucumber slices. You can also use to the allergy eye drops, decongestants and anti-inflammatories.
Washing your hands thoroughly and being aware of your surroundings as well as others who may be infected can help prevent eye infections. Good hygiene is the extremely important to prevent any viral and bacterial infections.
If you think you or your child may have an eye infection, you can talk to a doctor 24/7 using LiveHealth Online.
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