With Summer here, there is an increase in eye irritation, but not all eye irritations are eye infections.
Most acute eye problems can be related to simple eye infections. The most common of these is conjunctivitis where the conjunctiva membrane that covers the eye becomes infected. The most common cause is bacterial infections, however sometimes eye problems can be also caused by other conditions such as viral infections, allergic conditions and even dry eyes.
Dry eyes are usually part of the aging process and are common in persons over 40 years of age. The cause is that the body does not produce enough of the right eye lubricants and hence a dry scratchy feeling, even though the eyes may be watering. Its most common cause of flareup is environmental, some drugs, or too much use of computers and television. Lubricant eye drops can relieve the symptoms of this condition.
Allergic conjunctivitis is often mistaken for eye infections because there may be a discharge. The presence of wind and the associated pollen & spores in the air may be the cause. It usually does in isolation and my be accompanied by hayfever, sneezing, sinusitis or a dry cough. The best treatment involve avoiding the allergans. Rubbing the eyes may make it worse. Using both antihistamine tablets and eyedrops. Eyedrops often work by just flushing out the allergans.
Styes in the eyes are infected eyelash hair follicles. While they are often very painful and anoying, they usually self limiting and treatment may not be necessary. Treatment is usually only required if they last more than 7 days or there are multiple outbreaks.
True bacterial conjunctivitis is generally present with copious production of yellowish or green pus. Having the eyes stuck together slightly in the morning can also be a symptom of several other eye conditions, so investigation is always necessary.
Blepharitis is a bacterial inflamation of the eyelid margins and is often associated with seborrhea or dandruff. There is often a production of scales and crusts. The secondary bacterial infections often occur. It is important to wash the eyelid area with an appropriate cleanser to remove these crusts. It is usually found in both eyes.