Your eyes are one of the most vital parts of your body, and they're also one of the most sensitive. Eye irritation can be caused by many different factors, but whatever its cause, it should never be ignored. Painful, itchy, or discolored eyes are a sign that something is wrong, and you should take it seriously. Here are three things that may be causing your eye irritation and the ways you can treat the underlying issue:
1. Corneal abrasion
A corneal abrasion is one of the most common types of eye injuries. This is another name for a scratch to your eye's surface, and it can occur when you accidentally scratch your eye with sharp fingernails while removing your contacts. If you have a corneal abrasion, you may feel like you have sand stuck in your eye; your eye will feel irritated when you blink. Your vision may be blurry, and you may be more sensitive to bright light. If your eye isn't painful, you can try to let it heal on its own. Use eye drops as necessary to keep your eyes comfortable in the meantime. If your eyes don't feel better in three days, you should make an appointment to see your ophthalmologist. They will be able to prescribe you antibiotic eye drops to prevent infection and speed the healing process.
2. Corneal laceration
A corneal laceration is a cut on your eye, and it can be caused by debris hitting your eyes or having an accident with some kind of sharp implement. If you believe you have a corneal laceration, you should see an ophthalmologist immediately. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, you should never try to pull a foreign object out of your eye if it's still stuck. Protect your eye from additional damage by gently covering it and make an emergency appointment with your eye doctor. Your ophthalmologist will examine your eye using a dye to check for cuts. If they find a corneal laceration, they will perform surgery to repair your eye. Prompt treatment is important since corneal lacerations can cause blindness if left untreated.
3. Eye infection
If you haven't sustained any kind of injury but your eyes are still painful, you may have an eye infection. Look for redness in the whites of your eye or pus leaking from your tear ducts. If you suspect an eye infection, make an appointment with your eye doctor right away. They will be able to properly diagnose you and prescribe medicated ointment in order to clear up any infection.
Contact a clinic like Idaho Eye and Laser Center for more information.