Are you experiencing itchy, red, or watery eyes and wondering if it’s an allergy or an infection? Determining the cause of your eye discomfort can be tricky, and getting the correct diagnosis and treatment to find relief is essential. Continue reading to learn the difference between eye allergies and infections, their symptoms, and when it’s time to seek professional help.
Symptoms of Eye Allergies
If you’re dealing with an eye allergy, some common symptoms might include itching and redness, as well as watery or teary eyes. Your eyelids may also appear swollen and you could experience sensitivity to light. These symptoms are usually caused by your body’s immune response to allergens, leading to inflammation and discomfort.
Symptoms of Eye Infections
On the other hand, eye infections often come with different symptoms, such as pain or discomfort in the eye itself. You may notice yellow, green, or bloody discharge and crusting around the eye. Blurry vision or vision loss can be associated with eye infections too, so it’s essential to pay close attention if you notice any of these signs.
Causes of Eye Allergies
Eye allergies can be triggered by various factors, such as seasonal allergens like pollen and grass or indoor allergens like dust mites and pet dander. Irritants such as smoke, perfume or chemicals can also cause allergic reactions in your eyes, making them feel itchy and uncomfortable.
Causes of Eye Infections
Eye infections, on the other hand, can arise from bacterial infections (like staphylococcus or streptococcus), viral infections (such as herpes or adenovirus) or even fungal infections (like aspergillus or candida). These types of diseases can be more severe and require immediate attention from a medical professional.
Diagnosis and Treatment
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s crucial to consult a professional for a proper diagnosis. At Lumen Optometric, we offer a variety of treatments to address your specific needs. For instance, our Neurolens treatment is an excellent option for those experiencing eye strain and discomfort. If your eyes are feeling chronically dry and irritated, our dry eye treatment can provide much-needed relief. If you wear contact lenses, our skilled scleral optometrist can help fit you with the most comfortable lenses possible.
To help prevent eye allergies and infections, it’s essential to practice good hygiene and wash your hands regularly. Avoid allergens and irritants as much as possible, and keep your living space clean to minimize exposure to indoor allergens. Regular eye exams and check-ups are also crucial to catching any potential issues early on.