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Irritated Eyes? Don't Brush Them Off

We’re busy enough as it is. So, when minor health annoyances strike, it’s tempting to brush them off as nothing to worry about. A trip to the doctor? What a pain.

But, when it comes to your eyes, the real pain could come in not listening to what they’re telling you. Even something like pink eye should prompt a quick trip to your eye doctor. Dr. Allison M.B. Schulte, OD, shares more.

“The most helpful response to pink eye is to see your eye doctor,” says Dr. Schulte, who practices in the Detroit, Michigan, area. “If your eye is red, it’s talking to you — and you need to listen!”

And, sometimes, the message can be hidden.

“In recent years, I’ve treated several patients with red eyes who thought they had a minor viral or bacterial infection, which can cause pink eye — but who actually had a sliver of metal in their eye from working with machinery or gardening in the backyard.”

Environmental and workplace hazards commonly cause eye irritation. Hazards such as exposure to smoke, excessive sun, dust and dry air can irritate eyes. Windblown sand, tiny wood filings and glass particles can not only cause eye irritation, but also serious eye injury.

Other causes of eye irritation include inflammatory conditions, corneal ulcers and benign lesions. If your eyes feel inflamed and irritated, don’t brush them off. You need to seek medical attention from your eye care doctor immediately.