ZocdocAnswersWhy are my eyes itchy and red?

Question

Why are my eyes itchy and red?

I have itchy eyes that also turn puffy and red and even a little bloodshot. They are watering too and I don't know why. Could something be in the air? I just moved into a new apartment and I think there might be something in the carpet or in the air.

Answer

It sounds like you have conjunctivitis. This is a term that describes an inflamed and irritated outer lining of your eye. The outer lining of your eye (called the conjunctiva) is usually clear, but can be become red when it gets inflamed. There are several different possible causes of this problem. The most serious cause is a bacterial infection (also called bacterial conjunctivitis). This type of infection can threaten your site and requires antibiotic treatment. The redness is also usually associated with a lot of eye discharge. A more common type of infection is a viral conjunctivitis (also called pink eye). This is a contagious infection that is very annoying, but usually does not threaten your sight and doesn't require any antibiotics. Your case sounds a lot like an allergic conjunctivitis. The allergic conjunctivitis turns the eyes really red and also makes them itchy. Your puffy eyes are also suggestive of a allergic reaction. I wonder if there is something in your new apartment that you may be allergic too. Maybe the previous tenants has a pet? I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. Your doctor can distinguish between these different causes of conjunctivitis and provide you with the appropriate treatment.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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