Common eye conditions explained
There are a variety of different conditions that can affect the eye, most of which are often temporary and minor. Here’s a brief explanation of some of them:
Conjunctivitis is the inflammation of the conjunctiva, the thin membrane that covers the outer surface of the eye. The eyeball appears pink or red, and can sometimes be accompanied by a discharge from the eye.
Conjunctivitis is often caused by a bacterial infection, although can also result from allergens such as pollen or chemicals getting into the eye. Conjunctivitis is very contagious but is usually cleared up with antibiotics, eye drops or an ointment.
A corneal abrasion happens when a foreign object, such as a bit of dirt or grit, enters the eye and scratches the cornea. The cornea is the thin outer layer covering the iris (coloured part of the eye) and pupil (black centre of the eye). Corneal abrasions can be quite painful and may make you feel like there is something in your eye, but luckily they often heal fairly quickly.
Dry eye develops when the eye doesn’t produce enough of its own moisture to keep the eyeball lubricated, and can therefore feel irritated and itchy. There are several external causes for this condition, including an air-conditioned environment, contact lens misuse and eye strain.
Dry eye can sometimes be painful, cause blurred vision and/or a gritty feeling in the eye. It is not usually a serious condition and is often treated with eye drops to reduce the discomfort.
Eye redness can occur for lots of reasons, but the most frequent are often infections or foreign objects entering the eye. If the eye appears bloodshot, this is an indication of irritation in the eyeball itself. Occasionally a blood blotch may appear in one eye, particularly after eye strain or prolonged coughing, but this is normally pain-free and subsides within days.
Most causes of eye redness don’t require medical attention. However, if the symptoms last longer than two days, affect your vision or are accompanied by pain, you should consult your optician or doctor immediately.
For more information or advice on common eye conditions, or to book an appointment at Scher and Lasky Opticians, please call 0208 504 4722 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.