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Is this the first time you have had such an episode?
How is the vision in both the eyes?
vision is good but eyes feel very irritated as if there was some grit in them
Alright. I am to understand that the symptoms are present in both the eyes, right?
Painful red eyes which awakens you from your sleep ( with good vision and no other ocular symptoms) is most likely to be due to corneal erosion.
The cornea is made up of five layers out of which the most superficial layer of its epithelium can get eroded. This leaves raw areas of its surface which cause severe stinging sensation and pain. Treatment is to immediately start putting lubricating eye drops and use a lubricating eye ointment at bedtime ( and preferably patch the eye overnight).
so will the irritation stop, and should I visit my GP in the morning
Overnight patching will help the epithelial layer to get reformed.Usually this layer gets formed within 24 hours. To prevent recurrances it is better to use lubricating eye drops regularly. However if you do not find relief the next morning inspite of lubricating eye ointment and patching, it would be better to call up your eye specialist's office so that a detailed and closer look at your eyes can be done.
should I rinse my eyes with cold water for the moment
No, rinsing would not help. Just continue using the lubricating eye drop and patch the eye with a lubricating eye ointment ( available OTC) such as Lacrilube.
OK, thank you for your help
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Thank you and best wishes.
It was a pleasure to have answered this question. Views expressed are for information purpose only and cannot substitute a visit to an ophthalmologist