Red eye syndrome

Red eye syndrome is due to the increase of vascularization to the conjonctiva, to the sclera (the white part of the eye) and/or the eye lids. This redness is often associated to one of the following signs;

• The blepharospasm (blinking or partial closure of the eye lids)
• Ocular discharge
• Eyelid swelling
• A more or less pronounced corneal haze
• Loss of vision

Causes of these manifestations are multiple and may indicate, among others, an inflammation of the eyelids, conjunctivitis, impairment of the cornea (ulcer, inflammatory disease…); uveitis (inflammation inside the eye) or glaucoma (results in an increase of ocular pressure). Opthalmic examination is therefore very important in determining the cause of the “red eye”, depending on the case, specific tests will be done. The most common are the Schirmer test (measures tears production), fluorescein staining test and measuring ocular pressure. Supplemental tests may be necessary with certain cases.

The goals of treatment are:

• Reduce inflammation
• Eliminate infection if present
• Eliminate pain
• Maintain vision
• Obtain an adequate ocular pressure if it is abnormal.

Possible complications of “red eye” when it is not treated may include a loss of vision, a loss of the eye, and a degeneration of a systematic disease (exists in certain cases of uveitis). It is therefore strongly recommended that you consult a veterinarian if your pet displays this symptom.