Is Red Eye Dangerous

Radha, a dancer by profession, was a contact lens wearer. She wore contact lenses for more than decade and had no issues or problems with it. She was quite happy with her contact lenses. Only one day she developed a lot of eye irritation and pain in her right eye. She ignored that and as always wore her contact lenses. By evening she got miserable and her eye condition worsened.

She decided to get an eye check-up done and presented to Advanced Eye hospital for an eye evaluation. Her initial check-up revealed that vison was reduced in the right eye and normal in her left eye.

She was then further evaluated by Dr. Charmi Dedhia, Cornea eye doctor at Advanced eye hospital. Dr. Charmi noticed that her contact lenses were extremely dirty and had heavy deposits on the surface. She removed those contact lenses and preserved them in a saline solution for further testing. Right eye cornea (the front transparent part of the eye) showed a whitish patch with surrounding corneal swelling. She was diagnosed with corneal infection. As the size of the patch was large, Dr Charmi advised her to undergo corneal scraping, a test to delineate the exact organism causing the infection. The eye sample along with contact lenses were send to the laboratory for further evaluation. A special type of bug called Pseudomonas was detected in the sample. She was immediately started on appropriate treatment. Over the next few weeks her corneal infection recovered but it left behind a scar near the centre of the cornea. Due to the scar there was a mild permanent reduction of vision in her right eye.

She was educated on the do’s and don’ts related to contact lens usage.

People like Radha often take red eye non-seriously. Red eye can be due to many reasons and warrants an immediate eye check-up.

What are the common conditions that lead to red eye?

  • Infections of the front part of the eye which includes cornea and conjunctiva.
  • Infections due to contact lenses
  • Inflammation of internal structures of eye.
  • Bleeding on the outer coat of eye
  • Dry eyes
  • Eye allergies
  • Eye injury
  • Glaucoma
  • After recent eye surgeries

What causes red eyes?
In the conditions like infection, allergies or inflammation, there is dilatation of the small blood vessels of conjunctiva which is the transparent covering over the white part of the eye. This gives the appearance of redness in the eye.


Even in some conditions, there can be bleeding beneath the conjunctiva giving a diffuse reddish appearance to the eye. This redness may gradually turn black and eventually disappears.

What could be the other symptoms associated with red eyes?

  • Grittiness or irritation
  • Watering
  • Burning sensation
  • Itching
  • Pain
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Discharge from eyes
  • Decreased vision

In some cases, there may be no associated symptoms other than red eye.

What to do if you get red eyes?
As so many conditions (which include serious diseases like infections) can cause red eyes, one should see their eye doctor as soon as possible to identify the cause and provide appropriate treatment.

Until one can see their eye doctor, one must remove their contact lenses immediately and instead wear their glasses. One must carry their contact lenses and its case along when visiting the eye doctor, so that the doctor can also evaluate if contact lenses are the cause. Eye rubbing should be avoided.

About Advanced Eye Hospital and Institute:
Advanced Eye Hospital and Institute in Navi Mumbai is one of the best eye hospitals in Mumbai. Eye check-up rooms and the operation theatres are state-of-art and equipped with the best diagnostic and surgery machines. Personalised care, infection free modular operation theatres and beautiful ambience compliment the cutting-edge eye care offered at AEHI. Besides treating patients from Kharghar, Nerul, Seawoods, Sanpada, Belapur, Vashi, Ghansoli, Airoli and Panvel, patients from all over western India travel to AEHI for world class eye care management.

About Dr. Charmi Dedhia
Dr charmi Dedhia is a cornea and cataract specialist at Advanced Eye hospital. She is trained from the best of the institutions and is an expert in managing cornea and eye surface related problems. Besides managing corneal diseases, she is a very good surgeon and regularly performs surgeries like cornea transplantation, DSEK, DALK, DMEK, Amniotic membrane transplantation, ocular surface reconstruction.

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