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Red Eye

Its differential diagnosis, advice and treatment by our Optometrist at Vision Opticians, Opticians in Southfields Village.

Redness of the eye is often due to blood vessel dilatation. There are various causes of red eye, which may cause mild to severe redness depending on the cause and severity.

They include:

  • Infection
  • Inflammation
  • Trauma
  • Acute glaucoma


Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, caused either by allergy or infection and can be treated by our optometrist at Vision in the Village, opticians in Southfields Village. Conjunctivitis usually causes a moderately red eye with some discharge and mild discomfort to the patient.


Conjunctivitis resolves in 65% of cases without treatment, within two to five days. The prescribing of antibiotics to most cases is not necessary 

In more severe cases,of allergic conjunctivitis non steroidal anti inflammatory medication and antihistamines may be prescribed. Persistent allergic conjunctivitis may also require topical steroid drops. 

Bacterial conjunctivitis usually resolves without treatment. Antibiotics, eye drops, or ointment are thus only needed if no improvement is observed after three days 


Keratitis is inflammation of the cornea, caused by bacterial, viral and fungal infections. Classically the cornea becomes swollen and infiltrates occur, accompanied by a red eye with varying degrees of discomfort and pain.

In the worst case corneal ulceration can occur and it is thus important to treat promptly.


The main cause of keratitis in contact lens wearers is microbial infection by bacteria or amoeba Acanthamoeba. This is a difficult pathogen to eliminate from the cornea and the keratitis it produces has a poor prognosis unless diagnosed early.


Iritis is inflammation of the iris and produces a painful red eye, and inflammatory cells can leak into the anterior chamber, subsequently sticking to the back of the cornea or the front of the lens resulting in acute closed angle glaucoma. Hence iritis is an ocular emergency and requires immediate attention.