Red eye is also known as conjunctivitis or pink eye. It occurs when the conjunctiva, which is thin membrane covering the eyeball and the inside of the eyelid, gets inflamed due to bacterial or viral infection or due to an allergy.
The bacterial and viral red eye are highly contagious. Sometimes, red eye can also be caused due to an irritant like getting a foreign particle in the eye or getting shampoo in the eye. However, this type of red eye or conjunctivitis is not contagious.The virus or the bacteria causing red eye are the same that cause common cold and cough. That is why many people end up suffering from conjunctivitis when they are suffering from a cold. However, the infection can also occur without a cold.
Although contagious, bacterial or viral red eye clears up on its own in a week or 10 days times. It does not do any damage to the eye. However, the symptoms of the infection can be irritating.
The symptoms of infective red eye include inflammation of the eye, constant tearing and feeling gritty, soreness of the eye, pain though it is not very severe, itchiness, swollen eyelids that tend to get stuck together because of a pus-like discharge, and blurring of the vision due to the discharge.
So, red eye does hurt, but the pain is not severe. Most people do not treat the infection when it is moderate. But you can wash your eye with cool clean water to give you relief from the symptoms. You can also use lubricating eye drops to help with the irritation and grittiness. In case the infection is severe, the doctor will prescribe an antibiotic eye drop.
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