• What's causing my painful, bloodshot eye?


    I'm a 28-year-old woman in California. About a week ago I woke up with a faintly bloodshot left eye that felt bruised around the top ridge (as if lining the socket internally). I have felt for lumps or irregularities in texture along the lid and found none. After about six days, I began waking with crust build-up on both corners of this eye (not severely). It's consistently painful in a bruised way (not very sharp) and it hurts to change focus from far to close-up; it's also sensitive to light and the vision seems slightly blurry compared to my right eye (I have 20/20 vision tested this year). My situation is unusual: I have been stuck at home for around a month now due to other causes and I use a 34" flat screen television as my computer monitor. The night before this began, I had stayed up very late reading online. Of course the next morning I assumed it was eye strain, but now it won't go away. Do you know what this might be? I can't afford to go to the doctor.


    Your symptoms could be a number of diseases and it may be a serious disease, having nothing to do with your 34" flat screen TV. The orbital discomfort, painful focusing, slightly blurred vision, and light sensitivity are all symptoms of inflammation within the eye called uveitis (sometimes referred to in lay literature as iritis). Other conditions could cause this, but if this is uveitis, for example, it could be vision threatening. The symptoms are important enough that this should be evaluated by an ophthalmologist. I understand that you may not be able to afford to go to see a doctor, but you can't afford to lose vision either.

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