Is It Dry Eye, or Pink Eye? What to Know

Do you have red, itchy eyes? Are you worried that you might have dry eye, or pink eye, and you’re not sure which? The symptoms of these two conditions can be surprisingly similar! At Lappen Eye Care, we provide eye care and eye exams in Pittsburgh and the surrounding area to help you recover from eye related conditions. Here’s what you need to know about dry eye and pink eye – and the difference between the two.

Dry Eye and its Symptoms

Dry eye is a condition that occurs when your eyes don’t make adequate tears to keep your eyes properly moist. Tears can help protect your eyes from bacteria, dirt and debris. The tears your eyes make also help you focus your vision, so it’s important for your eyes to make enough tears! Symptoms of dry eye include:

  • Scratchy, burning eyes
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Mucus in or around your eyes
  • Difficulty wearing contact lenses
  • Redness of the eye
  • Watery eyes (a response from your body to your dry eyes)

Pink Eye and its Symptoms

Pink eye is a condition that involves inflammation of the membrane around the eyeball (called the conjunctiva). Pink eye looks very similar to dry eye in that its symptoms include:

  • Red, itchy eyes (one or both eyes)
  • A scratchy or gritty feeling in the eye
  • Tearing
  • Discharge around the eyes

When to Go to the Eye Doctor

You may not know whether you have pink eye or dry eye. That’s why it’s important to speak with an eye doctor! If you’re having a problem with red eyes and discomfort in your eyes, contact your eye doctor in the Pittsburgh area to find out what your next steps are. The professionals at Lappen Eye Care can help!