Q: What is the "Red Eye"? And is it related to allergies?
A: No, we are not talking about airplane flights here... "Red Eye" is a "basket" term that encompasses a wide range of eye conditions. Most conditions are self-limited; however, red eye can be a sign of serious eye disease. Presence of pain helps to distinguish between the more serious eye conditions and less serious ones, as pain may be present in a vision-threatening disorder. Eye allergy commonly affects both eyes and is associated with itching and tearing. A white "ropey" discharge can occur if this becomes a more chronic condition. Eye allergy (allergic conjunctivitis) does not typically threaten vision unless it is a chronic, very severe form. Seek a more detailed discussion and evaluation with your allergist or eye doctor.