Painful Red Eyes
Symptoms of red and painful eyes are a feature of many eye conditions. They may occur alone. However, red and painful eyes are commonly accompanied by additional symptoms and signs which help in setting off the definitive diagnosis.
Causes of Painful Red Eyes
Most common causes of painful red eyes include conjunctivitis, episcleritis, scleritis, acute iritis, glaucoma, and subconjunctival hemorrhage.
Conjunctivitis is inflammation of the conjunctiva. It can be acute and chronic and caused either by infective agents such as bacteria, viruses and fungi or by different allergens and certain chemicals. In conjunctivitis patients usually complain about itching of the eyes, increase production of tears and pain. The eyes are evidently red.
Episcleritis is inflammation of episclera which is actually a tissue localized between the sclera and the conjunctiva. This inflammation is like the previous one followed by the pain and redness of the affected eye. The pain is usually dull.
Scleritis is inflammation of the sclera. This is rather severe inflammation which usually affects people who are already suffering from certain illnesses such as rheumatoid arthritis and Wegener's granulomatosis. Scleritis can actually be the first symptom of the presence of diseases which affect connective tissue. Apart from the redness and the pain, which is intensive, patients also suffer from photophobia and increased production of tears.
Acute iritis is inflammation of the iris and it is caused by infections, trauma or it develops in patients who suffer from auto immune diseases. The symptoms of iritis include red and painful eye, headache, blurred vision and increased tearing.
Glaucoma is a serious eye condition which if left untreated may lead to severe damage of the optical nerve and consequent loss of vision. In majority of cases glaucoma leads to increased pressure inside the eyeball. The leading symptoms are excruciating pain and redness of the affected eye. Intraocular pressure rises depending of the type of glaucoma.
Corneal ulcers are sores which affect not only the superficial layer of the cornea but the process of inflammation spreads onto the deeper layers. Corneal ulcers may be caused by different factor and diseases. These sores are rather painful and the affected eye is red.
And finally, eyes may be red and painful in case of subconjunctival hemorrhage. In patients who are suffering from this medical condition blood accumulates underneath the conjunctiva. This is why the eye is red. Trauma is the leading cause of subconjunctival hemorrhage. Apart from trauma bleeding under the conjunctiva may occur spontaneously, due to severe hypertension, in certain infections, in conditions which lead to increased pressure in veins and so on. The pain may accompany this bleeding.