Although we do not experience the dramatic weather changes that other parts of the country do as the season’s change, there are nuances to the passing months of the year. Springtime notoriously brings blooms that may cause certain people to sneeze and sniffle. Sometimes, allergies are far subtle, causing mild eye irritation. These are referred to as ocular allergies. The itching and tearing that occur when eyes come face to face with an allergen are mild frustrations. However, it is possible that these symptoms could mean more.
If you believe that allergies are the source of your eye irritation, your method of care may be to stay indoors or to use eye drops or over-the-counter antihistamine medication. This seems simple enough, and, if you do have allergies, may work wonders. The problem is the same symptoms that may present with allergies also present in instances of infection. Here, we will look at a few differences, so you can tell if you need to see your eye doctor for medical care before you accidentally pass an infection to someone else.
If you have allergies, your eyes may:
- Tear excessively
- Look red
The same thing will likely happen if you contract bacterial or viral eye infection. But telltale signs of infection include additional symptoms, including:
- Thick discharge
- Gritty or foreign body feeling
- Light sensitivity
If your eyes are red and irritated, and the discharge from them is thicker than your average tears, it would seem as though allergies are not to blame. Scheduling a visit with your eye doctor will enable you to determine the source of eye irritation and, more importantly, the method to resolve discomfort.
Maintaining Eye Health the Easy Way
When we’re talking about preventing infection in the eyes, the way to maintain optimal health is relatively easy; it just takes a little mindfulness. Infection-prevention may include easy habits such as wiping down shopping cart handles before using. Frequent hand-washing is also beneficial to prevent bacteria from traveling from your hands to your eyes. Hand sanitizers or sanitizing wipes are a convenient alternative to washing when you are at work or running errands. These are also easy for kids of all ages to remember to use.
Are you plagued by redness and irritation? Call us! We would be happy to conduct a thorough eye exam to discern whether your problem is allergies, infection, or something else.