What allergy causes red eyes
The risk factors for conjunctivitis depend on the type of conjunctivitis. Bacterial conjunctivitis results from exposure to a bacterial organism to which the eye is vulnerable. Some of the more worrisome types of bacterial conjunctivitis can be caused by organisms that also cause sexually transmitted diseases; a sudden onset of the above symptoms in the context of a new sexual partner needs to be evaluated.
Viral conjunctivitis is extremely contagious. Often the person with viral conjunctivitis has had an upper respiratory infection preceding the onset of the red eye or has been around someone with an upper respiratory infection. People who work in health care settings or with children own a high risk of exposure to the viruses that can cause viral conjunctivitis.
Allergic conjunctivitis is caused by the environmental factors that trigger an allergic reaction in the eye and these triggers are diverse for each person.
Tests and Diagnosis
The diverse types of conjunctivitis often can be distinguished by an eye examination, including your medical history.
If your ophthalmologist suspects bacterial conjunctivitis, s/he will culture your eyelids, conjunctiva, and discharge to make a diagnosis and select the best treatment. Viral and allergic conjunctivitis often do not require special testing for diagnosis.
Treatment and Drugs
If you ponder you might own conjunctivitis, you should
- Do not share towels, washcloths, cosmetics, or eyedrops with others
- Thoroughly wash your hands before and after applying eye medications
- Seek treatment promptly
- Keep your hands away from your eyes
- Small children, who may forget these precautions, should be kept away from school, camp, and the swimming pool until the condition is cured
Treatment for Bacterial or Viral Conjuntivitis
Infectious conjunctivitis, caused by bacteria, generally is treated with antibiotic eye drops and/or ointment.
Other infectious forms, caused by viruses, can’t be treated with antibiotics.
They must be fought off by your body’s immune system. But some antibiotics may be prescribed to prevent secondary bacterial infections from developing.
Artificial tears and warm compresses may assist hold the eye comfortable while viral conjunctivitis runs its course.
Treatment for Allergic Forms of Conjuntivitis
When treating allergic and chemical forms of conjunctivitis, the cause of the allergy or irritation must first be removed. For instance, avoid contact with any animal if it causes an allergic reaction. Wear swimming goggles if chlorinated water irritates your eyes. In cases where these measures won’t work, prescription and over-the-counter eye drops are available to assist relieve the discomfort.
- Blurred vision
- Red, inflamed inner eyelids
- Sandy or scratchy feeling in the eye
- Pinkness or redness in the eye
- Pus, mucous, or watery discharge from the eye
The symptoms described above may not necessarily mean that you own conjunctivitis.
However, if you experience one or more of these symptoms, contact your ophthalmologist for a finish exam.
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Reviewed by Jill E. Bixler, M.D.
What Is Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)?
Conjunctivitis is inflammation of the conjunctiva, the thin, filmy membrane that covers the white of your eye. The conjunctiva, which produces mucus to jacket and lubricate the surface of the eye, contains fine blood vessels that can be seen on shut inspection.
When the conjunctiva becomes irritated or inflamed, the blood vessels, which supply it, magnify and become more prominent, causing the eye to turn red.
There are numerous sources of eye irritation that can cause conjunctivitis.
- Viral Conjunctivitis
Viruses can cause conjunctivitis, such as the familiar red eyes, sore throat, and runny nose of a common freezing. Viral conjunctivitis generally produces a watery mucous discharge and lasts from 1 to 2 weeks.
Infectious conjunctivitis, commonly known as «pink eye,» can be fairly contagious. Cloth handkerchiefs and towels should not be shared during this time. Hand washing also will assist prevent the spread of this infection.
- Bacterial Conjunctivitis
Bacterial infections can cause a red eye, which is associated with pus or discharge from the eye, or they can cause a red eye which is associated with crusting of the eyelashes with little or no discharge.
Allergies can cause conjunctivitis, which produces a stringy, white discharge. Allergies can make the eyes itchy or produce a chronic red eye and environmental irritants, such as smoke or fumes, may cause conjunctivitis.
Any type of conjunctivitis is aggravated by dryness of the eyes.