Eye Doctor Near Estero, Florida
Are your eyes redder and more bloodshot than normal? Red eyes are usually caused by an external irritant like an allergen. If your eyes are frequently red, this can look and feel unpleasant. If it has been a while since you’ve visited an eye doctor, Elmquist Eye Group is near Estero, Florida.
What causes this condition?
If an allergen is causing your red eyes, you may also experience itching, burning and tearing. Many hay fever sufferers have red eyes due to pollen and many people are quite sensitive to chlorine from swimming pools. Pet dander, mold, dust, perfumes and cigarette smoke are also common irritants.
When your eyes are exposed to these irritants, your body creates a substance called histamine which dilates the tiny blood vessels in the white portion of the eye (called the sclera). Your best bet is to have allergy testing and find the specific allergen that is causing your red eyes. You may be able to simply avoid the allergen. Try your best to avoid irritants like smoke, pollen, dust and pet dander. Many of our patients who have a sensitivity to mold dehumidify their homes to control the mold.
Several over-the-counter medications may help. Artificial tears might provide some comfort because they wash allergens from the eye; you may have more relief with artificial tears that are preservative-free. Antihistamine eye drops help with the itchiness and redness of seasonal allergies. Decongestants may do the same but should not be used for more than three days because prolonged use can cause increased redness called rebound redness. Many patients have great success placing cool compresses over closed eyes once or twice per day.
When to see a doctor
You may want to see an allergist if you are not certain about what may be irritating your eye. All in all, most cases of red eye are harmless and respond well to over-the-counter treatments and medications, but some causes of red eye can be a bit more serious, requiring an eye doctor, medical diagnosis and possible prescription medication. If you experience any of the following signs accompanying red eye, call a doctor:
- Eyes encrusted with yellow or green mucus could be sign of an infection
- Pain or tenderness in or around the eyes
- Unusual light sensitivity
- Redness that lasts more than a week
- Redness that does not respond to over-the-counter treatments
You may have an eye infection, and it could be viral or bacterial in nature. Conjunctivitis, more commonly known as pink eye can originate from a virus or a bacteria. It is important to have an eye doctor diagnose pink eye or any eye infection because treatments will differ based on the type of infection you have.
The bottom line is that if your red eyes don’t go away in about a week, you may have a more serious underlying condition that should be examined by an eye doctor. Don’t wait too long. Bacterial eye infections definitely require antibiotics and are contagious to others. Eye doctors are better equipped than your family doctor to do an in-depth evaluation. Elmquist eye doctors are near Estero, Florida, ready to help you. We are close by to your northwest, less than a 30 minute drive to our Cape Coral office. Don’t delay. Give us a call or go online to schedule your appointment today.