Possible Reasons for Eye Irritation

  • Posted by Dr. Jay Gordon

Eye irritation usually results from a viral inflammation, high pollen count, dry air, light poke in the eye while playing…at any age. 

Bacterial eye infections are nowhere near as common as the cause above.  I don’t know the exact numbers.  In our office, I think we probably see 20 cases of “other-causes” conjunctivitis (pink eye) for every actual bacteria infection.  We do often prescribe antibacterial eye drops. They actually could cause secondary irritation but they might also “pickup” the bacterial possible component of the eye irritation.

In any case, the treatment is flushing with breast milk if you have it and homemade saline solution created by putting a small pinch of salt into 4-5 ounces if water.  And then, somehow, dropping 2-3 drops into the inflamed eyes or eye.  I also like Similasan Allergy Relief Drops for kids two years old plus.

Hot compresses speed healing. Take pretty hot (careful!) half teacup of water and dip a cotton ball into the really hot water. Hold on for 4-5 seconds. Wait a sec or two and repeat for total of about a minute every 1/2 hour for 3 hours or so.  

If the red eye gets more than little swollen or seems more painful. Treatment options now would be  firstly to continue the flushes and compresses. And now, add antibiotic drops  if things do not improve rapidly, oral and far less often  IV meds are needed. That last option, IV antibiotics, is quite unlikely. 

Always call your Dr. should you have questions or concerns.