The eyes are a delicate and important part of our anatomy, and problems with them can be both uncomfortable and concerning. Whether it is itching, redness, discharge, or blurry vision, eye symptoms can be a sign of many different things, including eye infections and allergies. In this article, we will help you understand the differences between these two conditions and what you can do to treat them.
Eye infections are caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi that invade the eye and surrounding tissues. They can cause a range of symptoms, including redness, swelling, discharge, and pain. Some common eye infections include conjunctivitis (pink eye), styes, and corneal ulcers. Eye infections are often spread through contact with contaminated surfaces, such as towels or eye makeup, or through close personal contact, such as sharing towels or shaking hands.
Signs and Symptoms of Eye Infections:
- Redness and swelling of the eye and surrounding tissue
- Discharge from the eye, which may be clear, cloudy, yellow, or green
- Pain or sensitivity to light
- Itching or burning sensation
- Blurred vision
- Eyelid swelling
Treatment for Eye Infections:
If you suspect that you have an eye infection, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible. In some cases, antibiotics or antiviral medications may be necessary to clear the infection. Over-the-counter (OTC) treatments, such as artificial tears, may help to relieve the symptoms of an eye infection, but they will not cure the underlying infection.
Allergies of the Eye
Allergic eye symptoms are caused by an overactive immune response to allergens, such as pollen, dust, or pet dander. Allergies can cause a range of symptoms, including itching, redness, and tearing. In some cases, people with allergies may also experience nasal symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, and nasal congestion.
Signs and Symptoms of Eye Allergies:
- Itching, burning, and tearing
- Redness and swelling of the eye
- Swollen eyelids
- Sensitivity to light
- Discharge from the eye, which may be clear or watery
- Blurred vision
Treatment for Eye Allergies:
There are many OTC products available to treat eye allergies, including artificial tears, antihistamines, and decongestants. Over-the-counter eye drops, such as antihistamine or mast cell stabilizer drops, can relieve itching and redness. Antihistamine pills can also be taken orally to reduce overall allergy symptoms. If your symptoms are severe, it is important to see a doctor, who may prescribe stronger medications or suggest other treatments, such as immunotherapy.
When to See a Doctor
If you are experiencing symptoms that are affecting your vision, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible. In some cases, untreated eye infections can lead to serious complications, such as vision loss or scarring. Similarly, if your eye allergy symptoms are not responding to OTC treatments, it is important to see a doctor, who may suggest other treatments or medications that can help to relieve your symptoms.
In conclusion, eye infections and allergies can both cause similar symptoms, but they are different conditions with different causes and treatments. If you are experiencing symptoms that are affecting your vision, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible. At Drug Mart Pharmacy, our knowledgeable pharmacists can provide you with advice and guidance on over-the-counter eye drops to help treat your condition. Stop by our store in South Plainfield or call us at 908-561-5300.