Skip to main content

Optometrist At Holly & Derry in Milton, ON

Call 905-876-0044
Schedule An Eye Exam
girl%20with%20blue%20eyes%20in%20black%20and%20white%20coat%20slide.png
outlined%20blue%20eye
contact-in-solution
Home » Eye Care Services in Milton, ON » Dry Eye Disease and Treatment » Dry Eyes vs. Red Eyes: How To Know and What To Do About It

Dry Eyes vs. Red Eyes: How To Know and What To Do About It

Eye care, man with dry eyes in Milton, ON

Red-eye and dry eye syndrome are quite easily confused. Both conditions include itchy, red and dry-feeling eyes. A person who has dry eye syndrome will often think that their red, dry, itchy eyes are nothing more than something minor, like allergies, and live a long time with the severe comfort that comes with dry eye syndrome.

He/she will find that, regardless of what measures are taken, the condition does not change significantly and an eye doctor must be consulted to bring relief. Fortunately, Dr. Alisa Khan is very familiar with the symptoms of dry eye syndrome and how to treat it. Dr. Khan has compiled some points of essential knowledge below, to help her patients recognize the indications of this uncomfortable and painful eye condition in a more timely fashion so that they can prevent prolonging the pain and discomfort.

Dry Eye Syndrome

Dry eye syndrome is characterized by itchy, red, dry feeling eyes that do not get better unless professional medical help is obtained. Doctors generally discuss two broad causes for dry eye syndrome. Either:

The eyes don't make enough tears, and the eye cannot be comfortably hydrated

OR

The eye produces tears which are flawed. They often lack one or more essential parts normally included in tears to allow them to properly coat and hydrate the eye.

Eye care, man with red, dry eyes in Milton, ONThe leading defense against either of these forms of dry eye syndrome is a type of specialty eye drops called “artificial tears.” These special eye drops to combat the uncomfortable symptoms of dry eye syndrome by imitating real tears as closely as possible.

In order to do this in the best way possible, there are many different formulations of artificial tears. Each formulation addresses a different underlying cause of your dry eye. Some help to address the issues of dry eye syndrome in which tears are lacking in quantity and others will add one or more building blocks to your tears to help them better perform their intended function.

Red Eyes

Red eyes are generally not as worrisome as dry eye syndrome and you shouldn't worry too much about them. In most cases, red eyes are caused by allergens or foreign substances, which can cause your eyes to become irritated. Small blood vessels throughout your eyes then become inflamed and enlarged, becoming much more visible and turning your eyes a reddish hue. This is where the term “red eyes” comes from.

Many times, red eyes will heal up and return to normal without any medical attention at all. A note of caution, however: The great number of conditions that can cause dry eyes makes it very hard to know exactly what the cause may be sometimes. If your red eyes are accompanied by a high fever, headache and/or a great deal of eye pain, go to the doctor immediately. This note aside, red eyes are almost always minor and should not cause anxiety unless accompanied by these additional symptoms.

Even with a brief but comprehensive explanation such as this, it can sometimes be hard to tell the difference between these two similar-looking conditions. If you feel your red eyes may be something more, come see Dr. Khan today.

Dear Patients,

Today, under directions from the College of Optometrists of Ontario, we have made the difficult decision to immediately suspend all non-urgent care,  due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our doctors will still be accessible for ocular emergency assessments case by case. The clinic is closed.

All non-urgent appointments will be canceled and rescheduled for a later date. For urgent care please DO NOT call or come to the clinic, but send an email to: info@miltoneyecare.ca for appropriate triaging.

For patients who need to order contact lenses, please continue to place your order request on our website at www.miltoneyecare.ca. We encourage a 6-12 months’ supply of contact lenses to be ordered.

What consists of an emergency: Ocular Emergencies require an urgent visit within 24-48 hours. Please email our office should you experience:

  1. Chemicals splashed into the eye within the last hour
  2. Sudden loss or decrease in vision, or the appearance of a cloudy veil in front of the eye
  3. Foreign body in the eye, ocular injury or forceful trauma to the eye or surrounding area
  4. Sudden onset of halos around lights; especially if associated with a red painful eye or brow
  5. Sudden onset of flashing lights or floaters
  6. Sudden onset of double vision
  7. Red eyes with pain, light sensitivity or pus discharge
  8. Swelling of eyelid

If you are not sure if you are experiencing an ocular emergency please email our office at info@miltoneyecare.ca

 As this situation evolves, Milton Eye Care is committed to providing updates to our patients. While this is a difficult time for all, we are aspired by our patients who have taken their own personal measures to protect our most vulnerable. Thank you for your understanding. Please stay safe and healthy.

Warmest regards,

Milton Eye Care team