Most of the time with red eye, you want to get in to see your optometrist for treatment soon. However, if you experience a sudden change of vision, have eye pain, severe headaches, extreme light sensitivity, become nauseated or suffer vomiting fits, see halos (especially multicolored) around light sources, can’t open your eye, have a foreign object or a chemical in your eye, get in for evaluation and treatment right away!
Red Eye that Isn’t “Pink Eye.”
For red eye caused by a blood vessel bursting under the surface of the eye, in most cases just waiting for it to clear and using lubricating eye drops should be all that is needed, unless it happens several times in a short period. For red eye from allergies, use your usual means of dealing with those such as antihistamines. If the symptoms continue, or you don’t know the source of the red eye, make an appointment and let them know you have red eye and how bad you believe it to be so they can expedite the appointment.
If you experience thick or constant pus or mucous being discharged from your eye, it’s time to get treatment, but also if you have pain — or any recent eye surgery or eye injections — again, get an appointment as quickly as possible! Don’t hesitate to give your optometrist a call...that’s what we’re here for!
Pink Eye – or Conjunctivitis
If you have viral or bacterial conjunctivitis, it’s time to see your eye doctor. Viral problems cannot be cured with antibiotics, but the doctor can give you information on how to move beyond the problems, as well as what to do about the symptoms and how to find relief. For bacterial conjunctivitis, you’ll need antibiotics to get over the problem, usually in the form of eye drops or ointments. In both cases, you should be over it within about two weeks. Annoying, I know, but the healing time is necessary.
The symptoms of the viral pink eye include red eyes, soreness, and watery discharge from the eyes. For a bacterial red eye, the discharge tends to be thicker and pus-like. In either case, the discharge will dry and form clumps around your eyes and eyelashes if not cleaned away and treated.
If red eyes have become chronic for you, or if you can’t seem to maintain white eyes without the use of vascular constricting eye drops like Visine, talk to your eye doctor to find out what the problem is and how to treat it. As I’ve said before, don’t hesitate to give your eye doctor a call. We’re here to help!
Dr. Travis Zigler
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