Eye Irritation

What Causes Irritated Eyes?

Irritated eyes can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'worrying' to 'very serious'.  Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.

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Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms.  In order to diagnose irritated eyes, we could:

  • Research the topic
  • Find a doctor with the time
  • Use a diagnostic computer system.
The process is the same, whichever method is used.

Step 1: List all Possible Causes

We begin by identifying the disease conditions which have "irritated eyes" as a symptom.  Here are seven possibilities:
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Psoriasis
  • Rosacea
  • Chronic Fatigue-Fibromyalgia
  • Dehydration
  • Dry Eye
  • Hyperthyroidism

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

We then identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
frequent unexplained nausea
six to ten tender points
having watery stools
very great unexplained weight loss
red eyelids
chronic fatigue in family members
deformed toenails
vision disturbances
high systolic blood pressure
poor muscular strength
occasional 'chills'
hyperthyroidism in family members
... and more than 110 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of irritated eyes:
Cause Probability Status
Psoriasis 97% Confirm
Conjunctivitis 22% Unlikely
Dehydration 13% Unlikely
Chronic Fatigue-Fibromyalgia 4% Ruled out
Dry Eye 2% Ruled out
Hyperthyroidism 1% Ruled out
Rosacea 1% Ruled out
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

If you indicate eye problems, The Analyst™ will ask further questions including this one:
Are your eyes often irritated? This irritation may present itself as a 'sandy-gritty' feeling, the sensation of a foreign object in the eye, or watery eyes (excess tears).
Possible responses:
→ No / don't know
→ Occasional mild irritation
→ Frequent mild / some significant irritation
→ Frequent significant / some severe irritation
→ Frequent or constant severe irritation
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate irritated eyes, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
Conjunctivitis

The first symptom of conjunctivitis is discomfort in the eye, followed by redness and inflammation of the conjunctiva, the tissue covering the eye and inner surface of the eyelids.  There is some pain associated with conjunctivitis, but the sufferer will probably complain mostly of discomfort that is not relieved by rubbing or the sensation of something that feels like sand in the eye.

Dry Eye

Dry eye frequently makes it feel as though there is something in your eye, like a tiny grain of sand.

Psoriasis

Eye burning, itching & discharge are possible indicators of psoriasis.

Rosacea

Red, sore or 'gritty' eyelids are sometimes caused by rosacea.  Ocular manifestations may include many different eye problems and may precede skin involvement, thus delaying the diagnosis of rosacea.

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