Some mornings we look in the mirror and they’re staring back again at us: dry, irritated, bloodshot eye. Hopefully, this is just the hallmark of a night time, but annoyed and burning up eye could show a more serious problem persistently, like an optical eye disease or allergic reaction. Our first instinct is to use over-the-counter eye drops to help soothe our eyes and reduce the redness.

These may provide temporary relief, but they do little or nothing at all to treat the underlying factors behind irritation. Actually, they can mask them dangerously, possibly worsening the problem later on. Fortunately, other over-the-counter remedies can treat many causes of eye irritation. But when eye problems worsen or persist as time passes, it’s wise to get your eyes analyzed to rule out the probability of a far more serious condition.

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Your ophthalmologist may suggest a prescription drugs to help treat the problem. Your eyes are complicated and sensitive organs. Keeping them healthy is important in ensuring that you will be provided by them with good service throughout your life. The comfort of your eyes depends on several factors, including the proper production of tears, the correct function and position of the eyelids, and the absence of infections and allergic reactions.

All these factors must happen for the eye to be easily lubricated. Eye discomfort often happens when parts of the eye swell in natural response to illness or allergic reaction. The cornea — the clear part of the eye covering the iris and the pupil — is a sensitive layer of tissue. Even a small amount of swelling of the cornea or the close by tissues can cause a lot of discomfort.

Eye redness occurs when blood vessels in the conjunctivae (the slim, clear tissue level within the “white” of the eye) dilate. That is in response to infections, dryness, allergies, and other problems. Eye irritation will come in many forms and can signal many different problems. By making notice of whether your eye burn, drinking water, become red, or produce a discharge, you and your doctor can more properly determine the source of the irritation.

Relieving the discomfort and redness of the irritated eyesight is important, but it should not overshadow the necessity to resolve the fundamental problem. You might be lured to use eyesight drops such as Visine to “get the red away.” However, such vision drops contain vasoconstrictors — chemicals that constrict the arteries of your eyesight briefly.