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Red Eye and Pink Eye are interrelated, which is to say that Pink Eye is the main cause of red eye.
While red eye simply means redness around the eyes or on the eyes, pink eye is better known, medically, as conjunctivitis.
Conjunctivitis is one of the most common eye infections because it is highly contagious. It can spread very easily, and children are known to be more susceptible to the infection. Actions like coughing and sneezing can spread contagious pink eye.
Conjunctivitis occurs when there is an inflammation or an infection to the conjunctiva. The conjunctiva is a membrane that lines the eyelid and eye surface. When redness occurs in that area of the eyes, accompanied by irritation and itchiness, conjunctivitis may have spread due to an allergic, bacterial, or viral reaction.
These are also the 3 broad symptoms/types of conjunctivitis:
Allergic Conjunctivitis – it is the most common form of conjunctivitis that occurs due to an allergen getting into contact with any area around the eyes or the eyes itself. Pollen, dust and animal dander are allergens that are mainly responsible for allergic conjunctivitis. It can be cured with eye drops which are readily available at medical stores.
Bacterial Conjunctivitis – similarly, this form of conjunctivitis occurs due to bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus, Haemophilus influenzae, Streptococcus pneumoniae and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. It is characterized by formation of a crust, mucus, or pus around the eyes, usually green in colour. There is also redness in the eyes. Antibiotics are given in order to kill the harmful bacteria causing pink eye.
Viral Conjunctivitis – it is a contagious form of pink eye that doesn’t usually require medical attention, but simply home treatment, as the main aim is to prevent the spreading of the virus to other people. In rarer cases when the herpes virus causes pink eye, an antiviral medicine is usually prescribed for treatment.
Red Eye –
This is a broader term to describe an eye problem. It can include infections, allergies, swelling, inflammation and injuries as well.
Glaucoma is one of the more serious medical conditions that occur due to symptoms showing red eye. Glaucoma can later on lead to complete loss of vision or partial blindness.
Inflammation of the eyelids is medically referred to as blepharitis. It is usually caused by bacteria, allergic reactions and skin conditions.
Dry eyes or eyes that are not lubricated due to lack of tears lead to red eye, since the blood vessels in the eye begin to dilate if there is not enough lubrication.
Uveitis is the inflammation of the uvea, which is a part of the interior structure of the eyes. Uveitis can also be bacterial, fungal or viral.
Even in the case of sinusitis or sinus infections, red eye can occur. This is probably because of the eye pain or swelling of the eyes that usually accompanies sinus.
A sub-conjunctival hemorrhage occurs when there is bleeding under the conjunctiva. Blood vessels that exist between the conjunctiva and the sclera break and blood leaks into this space. It is not usually painful or harmful, and can be caused by high blood pressure, blood disorders and diabetes etc.
Lastly, Drug use and alcohol consumption are also known to cause red eye, as they have depreciative and harmful effects not only on the body, but also the eyes.
Did you know?
Conjunctivitis or Pink Eye is more likely to occur to people using contact lenses. This is because the manner, in which lenses are handled, stored and preserved is sometimes unhygienic, increasing the chance of an infection.
Call us for treatment of Pink Eye and Red Eye diagnosis and cure in Mumbai, India