Eye problems range from mild to severe in symptoms and conditions. Depending on the degree of eye issues you have, you should visit an optometrist.
Bloodshot Eyes, or "red eyes" are the most common condition. Red eyes could be due to an illness, injury, eye infection, over exposure, or other condition such as allergies. Bloodshot eyes are caused by the enlarged and dilated blood vessels in the surface of the eye (conjunctiva) becoming irritated. This can be a medical emergency or a medical non-emergency. Don't be surprised if the doctor doesn't take immediate action if you arrive in their office with red eyes, especially if you suffer from allergies or lack of sleep. Other times, red eyes can be a red flag that there is a more serious problem lurking such as Blepharitis, Conjunctivitis, Corneal Ulcers or Acute Glaucoma. If you're experiencing other symptoms such as discharge or pain associated with the redness, you might want to schedule an appointment with an optometrist.
Eye Pain on the other hand, is a much more serious problem. Some describe it as stabbing, throbbing, aching, burning or the feeling that something is in your eye. Many people seek medical treatment when they're experiencing pain in their eyes. The word pain is generally open for interpretation. Some people describe it as in their eyes, around their eyes or behind their eyes. The causes of eye pain can be one of two forms; ocular pain or orbital pain. Ocular pain comes from the outer structure of the eye and can be caused by either Conjunctivitis, Sties, Blepharitis, Corneal Abrasions or Ulcers and Chemical Burns. Orbital pain is caused by a disease of the eye and can be described as a deep, dull ache behind or within the eye itself. Some of the diseases that can cause orbital pain are Glaucoma, Migraines, Trauma, Optic Neuritis, and Iritis. Whatever is causing your eye pain, you should seek medical attention for treatment.
Eye Discharge is that sticky, yellowish substance that comes out of your eye. Most people experience this in the morning when they wake up. This is usually harmless as the discharge is actually a part of your body's natural defense system. However, there are some occurrences of excessive discharge that can be very harmful. Bacterial invasion can lead to a more serious condition like Blepharitis, which is an inflammation at the base of your eyelashes that produces the thick, yellowish pus filled with bacteria-fighting white blood cells. Other, more serious causes of eye discharge can be associated with medical conditions such as Conjunctivitis and corneal ulcers. A corneal ulcer is an open sore in the outer layer of the cornea and is associated with infections and bacteria. Conjunctivitis is an inflammation or infection of the membrane that lines the eyelids. If something feels off about the discharge around your eyes, it’s a good time to see an eye doctor.
Watery Eyes are ironically the primary cause of dry eyes. It is absolutely necessary for your eyes to replenish themselves repeatedly every day. However, too many tears can actually begin to reverse the good and start working against itself. Also known as Epiphora, it's important to note that tearing is not an emergency. Yes, it can be annoying, but it can also be treated. The cause of watery eyes can range from dry eyes to allergies, from environmental irritants to age or even clogged tear ducts. Eye conditions such as Blepharitis and Conjunctivitis can also be the cause of watery eyes. Before treating the watery eyes, you have to first know the reason. Each cause has a different treatment. Artificial tears or eye drops can re-wet your eyes, while over the counter antihistamines can alleviate allergy or environmental irritant symptoms.
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