The conjunctiva is the membrane that covers the white part of the eye and the base of the eyelids. Once this membrane becomes irritated or inflamed, the white part of the eye can turn red in color. Other accompanying symptoms can occur since each cause for an inflamed eye membrane often manifests slightly different. With this in mind, it is important that you are familiar with the causes of an inflamed eye membrane as well as the symptoms so that the appropriate treatment can be started. If you want to learn more about common eye conditions, click here.
An infection in the eye membrane is called as conjunctivitis which is also called as pinkeye which results to an inflamed eye membrane. Take note that this condition usually causes the white of the eye to appear red in color but can also cause itchiness, tearing, light sensitivity, lid swelling and mucus-like discharge.
If the infection is caused by bacteria, an antibiotic eye drop is prescribed by the doctor to treat the infection. As for conjunctivitis caused by a virus, it can be due to the common cold virus and has no mode of treatment. The infection is simply allowed to resolve on its own. When it comes to severe symptoms, the doctor will prescribe steroid eye drops or other drops to help minimize the inflammation.
Allergic reactions in the eye can lead to inflamed eye membranes. Many individuals suffer from seasonal allergies and reactions to cigarette smoke, pet dander and other allergens. As a bodily response, the eyes can become red in color, starts to tear and itchy and has a thick discharge.
In some individuals, they experience puffiness of the eyelids since the inflammation often affects the membrane covering the interior eyelids as well. The oral allergy medications such as over-the-counter antihistamines can help improve the eye symptoms. On the other hand, some individuals need eye drops in order to reduce the eye inflammation. In case the symptoms do not respond to over-the-counter medications, the doctor will prescribe stronger eye drops to provide relief to the symptoms.
The entry of foreign bodies in the eye can cause a small-sized scratch or abrasion on the sensitive surface of the eye or cornea. An abrasion on the cornea can lead to redness and an inflamed eye membrane. The other symptoms include light sensitivity, visual changes, lid swelling and sensation of a foreign body.
When it comes to mild abrasions, they do not require medical attention. On the other hand, if the individual feels that a foreign body is still present within the eye, it is best to consult a doctor so that the surface can be examined to check if the material is lodged under the lid. In case an abrasion causes severe pain, the doctor will place a contact lens in the eye to help protect the surface of the eye from further irritation.