Sudden or gradual redness can range from a bacterial infection to a viral infection such as shingles. The term “pink eye” is a simple term used by patients when they suspect an infection due to an increase in redness in one or both eyes. There are mild causes of redness and more severe causes that may lead to vision loss. If you have redness schedule an appointment today and report other symptoms that may include:

  • Tearing
  • Stringy mucous discharge
  • Swelling
  • Eyelids stuck together
  • Light sensitivity
  • Pain & discomfort
  • Feeling like something is stuck in the eye
  • Tenderness
  • Coughing, Sneezing, and Sinus Congestion

Dr. Ericksen will evaluate for common causes of redness such as the following:

Viral Conjunctivitis – often the most common cause of conjunctival redness. Viral infections can spread from person to person very easily. Extreme hygiene practices must take place to prevent the spread. This includes frequent hand washing, washing towels and bedding frequently, staying home from school or work, and sleeping separately from spouses. Symptoms may last 2-3 weeks.

Bacterial Conjunctivitis – Bacterial infection of the conjunctiva can come from contact lens wear, poor facial or lid hygiene, contaminated makeup, or a recent sinus infection that has moved to the eyes.

Allergies & Dry Eye –Dryness of the eyes or irritation from different environmental allergens can produce redness often accompanied by itching.

A prompt evaluation and treatment plan can prevent ulcers and vision loss due to corneal scarring. In addition, special microscopic slit lamp evaluation can help diagnose advanced progression of inflammation to the iris and posterior parts of the eye that can initially appear as a simple conjunctivitis or “pink eye,” but is more serious and needs to be treated quickly to prevent vision loss and blindness. If you notice an increase in redness, discontinue contact lens wear and schedule an appointment today.