Is Eye Irritation Something to Worry About?

Woman rubbing her irritated eyes

Eye irritation is not only annoying and frustrating, but it can also make it harder to focus. Even then, as long as your eyes are not hurting, you may decide it’s nothing to worry about.

All you need are some eye drops, right? Is it concerning enough to go see your eye doctor about? Here’s when you should go to an ophthalmologist.

Sensitivity to Light

Many things can make your eyes sensitive to light. This can include dry eyes and spending time looking at your computer or mobile device for extended periods.

When you focus on a screen for a long time, you tend to blink less. This prevents your tears from spreading across your eyes.

When this happens, you increase your chances of developing dry eye. You might also end up with digital eye strain.

The worst part about digital eye strain is it can make your eyes extremely sensitive to light, dry, and tired. It’s advisable to limit the time you spend on your screen.

If that is not possible, you should stick to the 20-20-20 rule. This involves looking away at a distant object that’s 20 feet away for around 20 seconds after every 20 minutes.

You should also make it a habit to blink as often as possible. This will keep your eyes moisturized and spread tears across them.

Another measure is to buy an antiglare screen. You can reduce the screen glare, more so from windows and overhead lighting.

Even after taking all these steps, if you have light sensitivity, it’s best to check in with your eye doctor.

One or Both Eyes Is Itchy and Red

This could be a sign of conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye. It results in inflammation. This is because your eye tries to fight off the infection, and causes itching and redness.

Another symptom could be excessive tearing. Conjunctivitis can be caused by pollen or poop particles, among other allergens.

Allergic conjunctivitis is especially common in spring because of the increase in pollen. If you suspect you have a pink eye, you should see your eye doctor for proper treatment.

If you have bacterial conjunctivitis, antibiotic drops are enough to clear it up. But if your pink eye is caused by allergies, you can treat the symptoms with artificial tears and cold compresses.

Your Eyes Feel Gritty

The common cause of gritty or scratchy eyes is dry eye syndrome. Other symptoms are a burning sensation and dryness.

Dry eye occurs when the quality or amount of tears is unable to ensure your eyes are moist enough. If your case is mild, re-wetting drops can be enough to fix the problem.

But if you have severe symptoms, your ophthalmologist might give you a prescription to lubricate your eyes. When symptoms persist even after treatment, you may have to have punctal plugs inserted.

These completely or partially block the tear ducts, preventing the tears from draining too quickly. When left untreated, dry eye can lead to infections, or even worse, damage your cornea.

When in Doubt, See Your Ophthalmologist

If you have severe or persistent eye irritation, you should have your ophthalmologist look at your eyes. Given the importance of your vision, there’s no point in leaving your eye health to chance.

Concerned about your eyes? Schedule an appointment at Joshi Retina Institute in Boynton Beach, FL today!

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