If you are having red, itchy eyes and it is the season of hay fever, you may think that it may be due to some allergy and that it can be self-treated using over-the-counter eye drops. But it’s not that simple! Even if you find a guide and buy yourself the best eye drops, you may end up treating yourself for allergies even when the actual problem is an eye infection.
Before buying yourself eye drops or any kind of drug, you should know about both of these conditions. This will allow you to know whether your red, itchy eyes are due to allergies or an infection.
How to Tell Whether You Have Some Allergy or Infection?
Whether ragweed or pet dander is causing the problem, the allergens affect the eyes in a similar manner. Eye infections may be caused due to parasites, viruses, fungus, or bacteria and the symptoms depend upon the cause. Eye infections usually lead to far more symptoms than allergies.
If you experience symptoms other than watery eyes or you have eye pain, you are more likely to have allergies. To get the proper treatment, it’s best to reach out to your eye doctor to identify the right cause of your eye problem.
The eye allergies are not infectious but can be unpleasant to cope with. In case of an infection, you are at risk of damaging your eyes and spreading it to other people.
How to Avoid such Eye Problems?
The risk of having eye allergies or infections can be reduced by adopting some preventive measures.
Conjunctivitis or pink eye is the most common eye infection and can easily spread whether caused due to virus or bacteria.
Keep the windows closed and other such careful measures can help in surviving seasonal allergies. Moreover, indoor allergies can be prevented by using an air purifier.
Be careful while using makeup and cosmetic contact lenses as this can also help in preventing the bacterial pink eye from spreading to others.
Washing hands frequently is an important way of preventing pink eye and other contagious diseases.
How to Deal With Allergies or Infections?
Despite taking the right course of action, you may have an eye problem and need relief from red and itchy eyes. Based on your diagnosis, some effective treatments include:
To relieve eye infections
In most cases, viral infections go away on their own but cold compresses and lubricating eye drops can help in easing the symptoms. Antibiotic eye drops may be prescribed for treating a bacterial eye infection.
When fungi or parasites cause eye infections, the medication varies according to the cause of the problem. An eye doctor can help with that.
To treat eye allergies
The topical medications work better than the conventional allergy remedies in treatment of eye allergies. Several allergy eyedrops work very effectively in treating the symptoms. An eye doctor may ask you to take short-term medications like steroids or anti-inflammatory eye drops for controlling inflammation.
Your doctor may suggest short-term medications to help control inflammation, such as steroid or anti-inflammatory eye drops. Over-the-counter artificial tears also help in keeping eyes moistened and getting rid of allergens.
The key is to get a quick diagnosis and treatment when you have irritated eyes. No matter what the cause is, your eye doctor will help in getting the right treatment and relief.