Red eye

I have a red eye for the past 4 days. There are no obvious symptoms of conjunctivitis and no secretions, but slight itching. I am allergic to certain antibiotics. What should I do?


Itching can certainly be a most annoying symptom. Given your allergic background, the first thing that comes into my mind, is the possibility that you have an allergic eye condition. This would certainly fit in with your allergic history. Our eyes can be allergic to all sorts of particles in the air around us. Such particles can be pollens, from flowers or grasses, which may be present at certain times of the year, or sometimes environmental chemicals or other materials, such as house dust, mites and animal products (so-called animal 'danders') which may be found in our homes or or at places of work.
Usually, someone who reacts in such an allergic way to materials in the atmosphere, will have experienced allergic symptoms at an early age. Since that doesn't seem to be a part of your own history, you should consider another possibility, that you have recently encountered something fresh in your environment, in your home, or at work, which is different from the past. It might be that you have a new pet at home, or that you are using a new cosmetic. You should give some thought to any change in your habits which might have exposed your eyes to something to which they react. Since the itching is affecting only one of your eyes, it may be that you are accidentally rubbing something into the left eye and causing it to react. If you can identify something of this nature, then you may find that by avoiding exposure, the symptoms will slowly settle.
If your problem is due to allergy, then there are many commercial remedies available, in the form of drops, which can damp down the symptoms. These agents range from antihistamines, whose actions can be quite rapid, to non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory preparations. Steroids can also be used, under appropriate medical supervision.
Symptoms of the kind you mention cannot be readily diagnosed without a full eye examination, even though symptoms may be a useful guide to the correct diagnosis. For this reason, if your symptoms persist, you should consult an eye specialist so that a proper diagnosis can be made and suitable action taken.