The term “red eyes” refers to a condition in which the white of the eye (the sclera) becomes reddish or “bloodshot.”
The appearance of red eye is quite variable. The sclera may appear to have numerous squiggly pink or red lines, or it may appear diffusely pink or red.
Red-eye can affect one or both eyes and is associated with a variety of symptoms, including the following:
- Teary eyes
- Sensitivity to light
- Blurred vision
Bloodshot eyes may present with no symptoms other than redness in certain situations.
Red or bloodshot eyes are quite frequent and can be caused by a variety of factors. Typically, red-eye is a sign of another eye ailment, which can range in severity from benign to dangerous.
If you acquire red eyes unexpectedly, consult an eye doctor to establish the reason and the most effective treatment method.
Causes of Red Eyes
Red eyes are caused by the dilatation of small blood vessels situated between the sclera (white of the eyes) and the eye’s clear conjunctiva (a transparent membrane that protects the sclera). These microscopic blood vessels (many of which are typically undetectable) might swell as a result of environmental or lifestyle factors or as a result of certain eye disorders.
The most frequent causes of red eyes include allergies, ocular tiredness, excessive contact lens usage, or common eye infections such as pink eye (conjunctivitis). Redness of the eye, on the other hand, might occasionally indicate a more serious eye ailment or illness, such as uveitis or glaucoma. When the blood vessels on the surface of the eye enlarge, red eyes develop.
Environmental factors that contribute to red, bloodshot eyes include the following:
- Allergens in the air (causing eye allergies)
- Pollution of the air
- Cigarette (fire-related, second-hand cigarette smoke, etc.)
- Air that is arid (arid climates, airplane cabins, office buildings, etc.)
- Fumes in the air (gasoline, solvents, etc.)
- Exposure to chemicals (chlorine in swimming pools, etc.)
- Overexposure to the sun (without UV-blocking sunglasses)
The following are common eye disorders that result in red eyes:
- Eyes that are dry
- Allergies to the eyes
- Pink eye (conjunctivitis)
- Wearing contact lenses
- Strain on the eye
Serious eye disorders that might result in red eyes include the following:
- Infections of the eyes
- Trauma or damage to the eye
- Recent ophthalmic surgery (LASIK, cosmetic eye surgery, etc.)
- Acute Glaucoma
- Ulcer in the cornea
Additionally, lifestyle factors might increase your chance of developing red eyes. For instance, smoking (tobacco or marijuana) may undoubtedly result in red eyes, as can excessive alcohol intake. Other lifestyle factors that contribute to red eyes include prolonged use of digital gadgets and inadequate sleep.
Treatment of Red Eyes
Because red eyes can be caused by a variety of conditions (some of which are dangerous and require immediate care), you should visit an eye doctor immediately if you have red, bloodshot eyes — particularly if the redness occurs abruptly and is accompanied by pain or impaired vision.
Additionally, consult an eye doctor prior to utilizing “red eye remover” eye drops. These drops may contain medicines known as vasoconstrictors, which cause blood vessels to tighten. While shrinking the blood vessels on the sclera will whiten your eyes, if you use red eye remover drops often over time, you may find that you need to use them more frequently to prevent red eye from returning. Additionally, if you discontinue taking the drops, you may have more severe red eye.
Consult your eye doctor to discover the source of your bloodshot eyes and obtain the most effective treatment choices.
Remove your contact lenses (if you wear them) and replace them with your glasses until you can consult an eye doctor about your red eye condition. Additionally, bring your contacts to your appointment so that your doctor can determine if your contacts are affecting your red eyes.
Additionally, you may wish to often wet your eyes with preservative-free lubricating eye drops until you can visit an eye specialist.