Red eye is frequently encountered in clinics in pediatric age group. The most common complaint being frequent redness, itching, discharge, discoloration of eyes.
Allergic eye disease is commonly seen cause of red eye in clinic. Patients present with frequent redness, itching and whitish discharge. This condition can be related to certain seasonal aggravation or present throughout the year. Symptoms or redness increases whenever the patient comes in contact of dust, pollens and even chalk powder in class. Allergic eye condition is sometimes found in association with asthma and skin allergies too. The treatment of eye allergy lies in medicines prevention more than the medicines. Avoiding dust, rubbing of eyes, frequent washing with cold water, wearing protective glasses while going out help in reducing the frequency. Allergic eye disease if severe and untreated can be vision threatening in some cases.
The other common condition presenting with fiery red eyes and discharge is infection in eyes which usually spread from one patient to another. Treatment involves eye drops and medication and takes around one to two week to completely heal. However sometimes it can take longer, involve cornea or the black part of eye which you see and threatens vision.
There are certain condition which involves inner structures of eye and present as increased redness and pain, one of the clinical examples being uveitis. Uveitis in kids can present commonly with joint pains and some infection in other part of body. In the later course it can be associated with cataract and vision threatening complications. Hence, it may require longer course or treatment and visit to hospitals.
Red eye can present in varying combinations and can be a presenting sign of other vision threatening problems. The conditions like allergy, conjunctivitis, foreign body needs to be differentiated from other sight threatening conditions. Only your eye specialist can do that and guide you for the proper treatment.