With the school year starting we know allergy season is approaching. I thought it would be important to share a quick word on red eyes. We all have experience with our eyes having discomfort and looking in the mirror and seeing our eyes are red. There are many reasons this can occur from a blood vessel bursting (ie subconjunctival hemorrhage), eye infection, eye inflammation, and allergies to name a few. It is important to evaluate the symptoms in context of how you are generally feeling and consider seeing an eye specialist to make sure that nothing vision threatening is occurring. This is especially true if you are a contact lens wearer since some of the infections can be more severe. An example to consider is a condition called dendritic keratitis or herpetic keratitis shown in the picture. It is from the virus that causes the common cold sore and is found in a majority of the population (over 80% in some studies). It can be brought on by stress or if a person is under the weather. Many times a person will complain that their eye feels gritty and look red. When we look in the microscope we see this condition. Timely treatment is key so that vision can be recovered fully.
Wishing you the best in the new Season!