When to See a Doctor for Your Eye Irritation

If you’ve ever gotten a speck of dust or dirt blown into your eye, you know that your eyes are an incredibly sensitive part of your body. Even minor irritations or scratches like a singular eyelash can cause redness, inflammation, and pain that lingers throughout the day. Additionally, the eyes are susceptible to irritations such as seasonal allergies, where irritation and dryness can last for seasons. 

The bright side is that the eyes can heal themselves incredibly quickly, and most eye irritations will solve themselves anywhere between a few minutes to a day or two. However, there are instances where eye irritations can become an issue and require further treatment from a healthcare professional. If you live in Canada, you find a healthcare clinic with Medimap, an online booking platform.

Here are a few times when you should see a doctor for issues related to the eye.

There is Excess Discharge

It’s perfectly normal to experience a slight amount of mucus around the eyes periodically throughout the day, especially when we first wake up in the morning. This is because the mucus is usually distributed out as we blink but builds up overnight while we sleep, and our eyes remain closed.

However, if your eyes are producing an abundance of discharge throughout the day, is a thick consistency, or its color changes to a dark green or yellow, you may have an infection within your eyes. 

Common eye infections that can cause discharge include conjunctivitis (pink eye), styes, and blocked tear ducts.

Light Sensitivity

Having sensitivity to light may signify a more serious eye condition. Sensitivity to light may be a sign of strained eyes, usually caused by extended time staring at phone or computer screens. If lessening time on these devices is not an option, try to look away from the devices for a few minutes throughout each hour, and remember to blink often.

Light sensitivity may also be a sign of a condition known as ‘dry eye.’ Dry eye occurs when the tear duct system that keeps your eyes moist and clear of debris ceases to work properly. Dry eye usually comes with other symptoms such as redness, blurry vision, or a gritty sensation in the eye.

There is Invisible Pain

We all know that sharp and painful experience of getting something caught in your eye, be it an eyelash, hair, or dirt. Usually, we can spot the reason for the pain and remove it by flushing our eyes.

However, in some cases, a foreign body may not be visible. Foreign bodies can be anything from a spec of dirt, an irritating liquid-like soap or sanitizer, or residual food particles on your hand that remains even after washing, such as onion or jalapeno.

It can be hard or impossible to spot these irritants, and care must be taken when trying to remove them. Do not try to forcibly remove or rub the eye, as even small pieces of foreign bodies can scratch your eyes and worsen your condition. If flushing the eye with water doesn’t work, then you should consult a doctor. 

Photo Credit: Ion Fet via Unsplash
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