Eye redness is a problem experienced by people of all ages at one time or another. Watering and redness in eyes are encountered on a more frequent basis in windy days of winter, as well as snowy environments in which more light is reflected. These conditions occur as a result of a reaction of the veins of the conjunctiva (a thin and transparent membrane which covers the inner surfaces of the eye lids and the white part of the eyes), which widen under the said circumstances. While eye redness, which is usually overlooked as a condition that heals of its own accord, arises due to simple eye reactions, sometimes the underlying reasons can be much more serious, such as an increase in the intraocular pressure. Therefore, it is essential for the said underlying factors to be determined and treatment to be started quickly; otherwise, such factors can cause permanent vision loss. At this juncture, a question arises: When to take action in cases of eye redness? Ophthalmologist Emel Çolakoğlu of Acıbadem Bakırköy Hospital has shared with us the circumstances in which eye redness should not be ignored and made some important recommendations on the subject.
Redness can lead to serious visual impairment!
Eye redness occurs when the veins in the conjunctiva, the transparent layer that covers the white part of the eye, widen. Doctor Emel Çolakoğlu states that infections that are not treated on time may lead to serious vision loss when they spread to the inner layers of the eye and that high intraocular pressure can cause damage in the optic nerve. Foreign objects left in the eye can result in infections which, in turn, can result in conditions that require surgery. Early diagnosis and treatment are critical in preventing such problems, which may have permanent effects.
Treatment is administered in accordance with the underlying cause
Ophthalmologist Emel Çolakoğlu states that treatment of eye redness depends on the underlying causes and shares with us the following information on treatment methods: “The patient is prescribed antibiotic eye drops when the redness is due to microbial reasons, artificial tear preparations if the redness is caused by eye dryness and antiallergic eye drops in the event that it arises from allergies. In case of intraocular inflammation, local and/or systemic cortisone treatment is applied to the area in question. When these conditions are treated, the redness in the eye disappears.”
Even seconds matter in cases of eye exposure to chemicals
Emphasizing that taking action quickly is critically important in case of eye exposure to chemical liquids or gases, which can also cause eye redness, Ophthalmologist Emel Çolakoğlu explains the reason behind this by saying, “Delays in treatment can lead to levels of damage as serious as eye penetration. Therefore, it is essential to wash the eyes and the surrounding area within the first seconds. The next thing to do is apply to the nearest medical center with the packaging of the chemical substance in question. In these cases, treatment is planned according to the composition of the chemical substance and the damage in the eye after the eye is washed with plenty of physiological saline solution.
Ocular hypertension may require surgery
Another underlying cause of eye redness is ocular hypertension, which leads to vision loss when the treatment is delayed. Doctor Emel Çolakoğlu, who warns us that intraocular pressure should be reduced in a controlled manner in cases of hypertension, underlines that it is very important for YAG laser iridotomy procedure to be applied in both eyes in order to prevent the healthy eye from developing the same problem in the future.
Do not ignore the following signs when you have red eyes!
- If the redness has occurred due to foreign objects that entered the eye,
- If the redness has increased during the day and is accompanied by a sensation of burning and pain,
- If your vision has become blurry with the development of eye redness,
- If the redness has occurred after a trauma,
- If the redness reoccurs on a frequent basis,
- If the redness is accompanied with pain in joints and aphthae in the mouth,
- If the redness has occurred due to eyes coming in contact with a chemical,
- Or, if redness has occurred during contact lens use, it is critically important to consult an ophtalmologist as soon as possible.