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its kind of weird - they look white in the picture, but when I look at them in the mirror, they are a dark/clear color
They look more like follicles
Follicles are aggregates of our cells which appear as raised translucent lesions
is this something i need to go to the eye doctor to treat? or will they disappear on their own?
These are most often seen in case of viral infection of the eye ( pink eye), those who wear contact lenses, as a result of chronic use of various eye drops ( as a side effect of preservatives used in them).
Do you have any redness/ watering of eyes?
Have you been using any eye drops in the recent past?
i noticed these little bumps while i was on vacation. I was wearing contacts and using some anti-allergy eye drops at the time. eventually my contacts drove me nuts and so i took them out and threw them away. i've been wearing glasses since. and since i took out my contacts, there's been no itching or redness or anything like that.
Ok. Since how many days have you noticed these bumps ?
about 5 days?
Follicles look similar to this image- http://www.intechopen.com/source/html/44041/media/image8.jpeg
ok. but they can be darkish in color, right?
Yes , if there is congestion around the follicles.
If this is due to a viral infection then these will subside naturally within 2 weeks.
ok. and if bacterial?
Bacterial eye infection is very symptomatic especially with severe redness, discharge, watering from eyes.
so i should wait two weeks and if they haven't gone away, see an eye doctor?
Since the image sent does not show the details of the bumps ( appear more like follicles but could even be papillae which are again kind of cells with increase in size and are very often seen in contact lens wearers). Either ways you can expect the disappearance of the bumps within 2 weeks and with abstaining from wearing contact lenses. You can use preservative free lubricating eye drops such as Refresh tears eye drops, 1 drop 4 times a day.
If the bumps persist inspite of this beyond 2 weeks then do get the eyes examined by an eye doctor for a closer look.
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It was a pleasure to have answered this question. Views expressed are for information purpose only and cannot substitute a visit to an ophthalmologist