Patients who suffer from red eyes often delay treatment, categorizing their symptoms as mild or minor. However, red eyes can result from a wide variety of causes, some of which are much more serious than others. The experienced optometrists at Davich Optical in Los Angeles care about patient eye health and encourage patients to seek evaluation for any new or ongoing redness in the eyes to ensure more serious conditions are diagnosed and treated as early as possible.
What causes red eyes?
There are well over a dozen different culprits that can contribute to red eyes, including:
- A broken blood vessel
- Inflammation of the eyelids
- Noncompliant contact lens use
- Infections like pink eye
- Dry eye syndrome
- Computer vision syndrome
- Injury to the eye
- Corneal ulcer
- Uveitis (inflammation of the uvea)
- Herpes infection in the eye
- The common cold or influenza
- Exposure to environmental hazards
- Inadequate sleep
Because there are so many potential causes, evaluation and treatment by a qualified provider is critical to identifying and correcting problems early.
How are red eyes treated?
The treatment for red eyes depends on the cause; some cases will resolve on their own, others may require drug-free treatment like cold compresses, and some may require antibiotic treatment or even surgical intervention. The only way to determine the right course of action is to first identify the cause, which Dr. Chen can do.
Is the cause always known?
No, sometimes the cause of red eye remains unknown.
What are the risks of delaying treatment?
There are several risks associated with delaying treatment, including:
- Further irritation and friction, putting the patient at risk of corneal abrasion or damage
- Spread of infection to deeper tissues and even bones
- Worsening of the condition
- Delayed diagnosis of a serious condition like glaucoma and subsequent permanent vision loss
Patients can trust that the doctors at Davich Optical will welcome them; there’s no such thing as seeking treatment too soon when it comes to eye health and the preservation of vision.
What are the signs and symptoms of red eye?
The main symptom is redness in the eyes. Other symptoms that may accompany red eyes, depending on the cause, include discharge, itching, pain, swelling, and blurry vision. Some patients have red eyes and no associated irritation at all.
How are red eyes diagnosed?
The diagnosis of red eye includes an eye exam and additional specialized tests that can help identify the underlying cause. Eye doctors use a variety of highly specialized machines and equipment to view, measure, and evaluate all components of the eye, one of the most complex organs in the body. The optometrists at Davich Optical are happy to explain the testing and equipment to any curious patient.