How to Tell if Your Itchy Red Eyes Are Signs of an Allergy or Infection?

If you suffer from hay fever, you know it can be annoying. The red, watery, and itchy eyes, as well as the sneezing, can be enough to drive nearly anyone crazy! But how do you know it’s not something else causing your red, watery, and itchy eyes?

It’s allergy season again!

It’s definitely common for hay fever to strike during the warmer months of the year. Allergies happen when our body produces too many germ fighting antibodies and the immune system goes into overdrive. All of these extra antibodies can cause the watery, itchy, and red eyes that are such a big part of so many allergies.

In fact, nearly 10% of adults suffer from hay fever—one of the most common allergies. The number is even higher on a global scale. But hay fever is just one kind of allergy. Indeed, people can be allergic to just about anything, including latex, plants, food, drugs, pet dander, bee stings, and grass seeds.

Sometimes what we think is just a simple allergy turns out to be an infection. This can be much more serious in nature, and may even cause damage to the eyes or difficulty seeing. In these cases, it is absolutely essential to make an appointment with Dr. Vishal Patel at Eye Care Solutions.

Signs that you have an eye infection

So, how do you know if your red, itchy, and watery eyes are just symptomatic of an allergy, such as hay fever, or whether you actually have an infection that needs more serious diagnosis and treatment?

As well as the red, itchy, and watery eyes that are common to both allergies and eye infections, here are some additional signs that you actually have an eye infection:

  • A thick discharge from the eyes that is not the watery tears we associate with a condition like hay fever
  • Pain around the eyes and the feeling that there is some dust or grit caught in the eyes
  • Having to squint in the light because of an increased sensitivity
  • Inflammation of the eyelids or small lumps around the base of the eyelashes

Allergies are certainly annoying and can even be debilitating for some unlucky people. However, an eye infection needs a proper diagnosis and treatment.

What kind of eye infection do you have?

Infections of the eye can be caused by viruses, bacteria, and even fungi, so it’s really important to have a proper assessment and diagnosis. Some conditions can lead to vision problems and damage to the delicate structures of the eye if they are left untreated.

Whether you have vision problems, dry eye syndrome, allergies, or an eye infection, we can help you here at Eye Care Solutions.

Here are some common and not so common eye infections:

  • Conjunctivitis: This is a highly contagious viral or bacterial infection of the eye that is often found in children, child care centers, and pre-schools. Apart from the redness and itchiness, it also produces a thick discharge from the eye.
  • Keratitis: People who wear contact lenses are prone to this infection of the cornea. It can be caused by viruses, bacteria, or parasites.
  • Uveitis: The Uvea is the middle layer of the human eye, and when it becomes inflamed it can cause pain and vision problems. It is often linked to other diseases, such as Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis.

If you’re not sure whether you have an allergy or an eye infection, come and see us at Eye Care Solutions. Dr. Vishal Patel can perform a thorough examination of your eyes and make an informed diagnosis of your problem.

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