Learn about conditions associated with red eyes, why these cause redness, what tests can help get to the root, and how to combat red eyes. Red eyes are one of those things that many people experience from time to time. This can be uncomfortable and you may want to get rid of the bloodshot look as soon as possible. First, you need to figure out what may be causing the normally white
Red eyes are one of those things that many people experience from time to time. This can be uncomfortable and you may want to get rid of the bloodshot look as soon as possible. First, you need to figure out what may be causing the normally white part of your eye, the sclera, to appear red.
Such red eyes can be from conditions that vary from conjunctivitis (pink eye) to things such as dry eye or a burst blood vessel.
This article will explore how red eye may correspond to other symptoms, examine various causes, consider treatments and look into other aspects of this common issue.
If you have red eyes, finding out what may be going on can come down to other symptoms that you also notice, which may offer clues as to what's going on.
Conjunctivitis is one possibility. Besides the red color of the whites of your eyes, other symptoms that you might notice include:
A burst blood vessel, otherwise known as a hyphema, where the blood collects between the colored portion of the eye and the clear dome, may also account for redness. Other symptoms to look for are the following:
Dry eye, which can also redden the surface, is another possibility. Some other dry eye symptoms include:
Eye allergy can also be a common source of red eyes. This may be a prime suspect if you know it's allergy season. Other symptoms to look out for:
Glaucoma cases that come on suddenly may also cause eye redness. Other symptoms associated with what's known as narrow-angle glaucoma include:
Endophthalmitis infection, in which there's swelling within the eyeball due to either bacteria or fungus, is a serious, vision-threatening infection that can cause redness. This may at times occur after cataract surgery (to replace a clouded lens) or other eye surgery. The following are additional symptoms to watch for:
Lots of things may lead to red eyes. Some of the most common underlying causes involve:
Redness in the eye can often be linked to the blood vessels. For example, when there's an infection such as conjunctivitis (the tissue covering the eye's surface), the blood vessels in the area become enlarged. As these become more visible, the eye turns red.
Likewise, with allergy, when a substance called histamine is released after exposure to allergens like pollen, the blood vessels swell up. These once again are located on the conjunctiva and become more noticeable.
Some eye medications can cause red eyes.
Ironically, what's known as vasoconstrictor drops (such as Visine), meant to whiten eyes by temporarily shrinking blood vessels, can have a rebound effect. The blood vessels may become more dilated than normal as the drugs wear off, and the eyes become redder.
Also, several categories of glaucoma medication, meant to reduce pressure in the eye, can sometimes cause redness. These can include:
It may be possible to treat mild cases of red eyes caused by irritation or passing allergies with home remedies. You may rid yourself of red eyes with the following:
But if symptoms persist for more than a week, this may signal that you have an infection, which needs to be treated by an ophthalmologist.
With red eye it is often necessary to look at what is likely causing these and then test for the various conditions. Here are some tests you may undergo if you have persistent red eyes:
While red eyes often just need a little extra care, it's important to know when to seek help. Be sure to promptly contact an ophthalmologist for your red eye if:
Red eyes can be an extremely common symptom of various conditions ranging from dry eye to allergies and infection. By looking at other symptoms, you may get a clearer picture of what may be causing your eyes to redden.
Many of these conditions can cause blood vessels in the eyes to become enlarged and more noticeable. In mild cases, home remedies such as applying a cool washcloth or rinsing your eyes with artificial tears may suffice. But if symptoms linger or become more serious, you should promptly see an ophthalmologist.
Red eyes can be the result of a number of different conditions that cause the blood vessels in the eyes to become enlarged and more visible.
They can even be caused by vasoconstricting drops meant to reduce the size of blood vessels and whiten eyes. When these are stopped, the blood vessels may enlarge even more than normal, making the eye appear red.
That depends on the source of the red eye. If you can get to the root, such as allergy, dry eye, or infection, you should undergo treatment for this condition. If eyes are just irritated, home remedies to soothe irritation may suffice.
If red eyes don't go away with home remedies or become painful, you should promptly check with an ophthalmologist.
Yes. In some cases, those with COVID-19 develop pink eye. But just because you have pink eye, does not mean that you have COVID-19. It could be the usual bacterial or viral pink eye or even allergies, which can also have similar symptoms.