We all welcome the arrival of spring with great joy, but also mixed feelings. With the presence of pollen and the return of dust, spring is also the season of eye allergies. In fact, we don’t precisely know what causes our eye symptoms. Most of them are mild, but all make our lives miserable. Once and for all, let’s get the facts straight about the various causes of eye irritation.

Redness? The cause may be conjunctivitis.

It’s the most common cause of eye irritation. It’s also known as “pinkeye.” Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, the clear thin tissue that lies over the white part of the eye and inside the eyelid. In general, conjunctivitis is due to the presence of bacteria or allergens. 

Symptoms

  • Redness
  • Mildly blurred vision
  • Burning eyes
  • Itchy eyes
  • Watery eyes
  • Watery or green discharges depending on the type of conjunctivitis
  • Itching

Conjunctivitis may be caused by bacteria, viruses or allergens. Therefore, treatment will depend on the specific cause. An ointment or antibiotic eye drops may be enough if the conjunctivitis is of bacterial origin or caused by an allergy. Consult with your Opto-Réseau optometrist for the best treatment for your condition.

Redness may also be a symptom of keratitis

Keratitis is oddly similar to conjunctivitis, but it may be more painful. It’s an irritation that affects the cornea, which is the clear globe covering the pupil. If the keratitis is superficial, only the first layer of the cornea is affected. In most cases, that type of keratitis is caused by a foreign body or contact lenses that don’t fit right. The cause may also be a virus like herpes or staphylococcus. According to Dr. Morggan Debaets, Optometrist at Opto-Réseau St-Félicien and Métabetchouan, “in such cases, it may affect the deeper layers of the cornea and be more severe.”

Symptoms

  • Redness
  • Severe pain
  • Decreased visual acuity
  • Photophobia (sensitivity to light)

You should see your optometrist right away. They will diagnose if you suffer from keratitis and prescribe appropriate treatment. If not treated, keratitis may leave a scar and lead to a loss of vision.

Dry or irritated eyes? Ocular dryness may have struck again!

Dry eyes are as common as conjunctivitis. It is caused by a lack of moisture or poor quality tears to lubricate the eyes. People exposed for long periods of time to air conditioning or digital screens often suffer from dry eyes. The dry eye condition is treated with artificial tear drops or ophthalmic drops. According to Dr. Debaets, “dry eye treatment may also include taking Omega-3 tablets or the insertion of punctual plugs.”

Symptoms

  • Dry eyes
  • Irritated eyes
  • Burning sensation

Remember that minor eye irritations may be treated with ophthalmic drops. More acute cases require stronger antibiotics and sometimes, specific ophthalmic drops. Consult your Opto-Réseau optometrist to get the most appropriate treatment for your eye infection.

For more information about eye problems, consult your optometrist at the nearest Opto-Réseau clinic. Our team will precisely diagnose the problem and prescribe the best treatment.