Eye redness can occur when the blood vessels in your eye dilate or grow. We all have experienced red eyes at some point in our life. A common cause would be some substance or object entering your eye. Usually, the redness goes away on its own. However, if it lasts a little longer than usual, over the counter or prescription eye drops are used for its treatment.
Are red eyes something to worry about?
While eye redness is considered a mild eye problem as the signs go away after some time, consulting an eye specialist will be necessary if your eyes don’t get back to normal or you experience the following signs:
- Redness and blurry vision
- Pressure in eyes
- Seasonal eye redness due to allergy
- Discharge from the eyes (green or yellow)
- Obscured vision or difficulty seeing
- Chronic dryness or itchiness
If you feel slight irritation or occasional dryness in your eyes, you can use eye drops for red-eyes treatment. However, if the irritation or dryness becomes severe and you don’t notice any improvement, consult an eye specialist as there can be an underlying eye problem which only an eye doctor can examine.
Eye redness is usually caused by rubbing the eyes and excessive use of contact lenses. If the signs don’t disappear, there might be underlying problems or eye disorders which are causing the eye to become red.
Dry eyes can be a reason behind red eyes. Irritated and inflamed blood vessels can cause dry eyes. Some of the common causes of this eye disease include:
- Diabetes and arthritis
- Wearing contact lenses excessively
- Lack of sleep
- During menopause or pregnancy
Over-the-counter remedies are the most common way to treat dry eves. Although, consulting an eye specialist would be the right choice if the signs don’t seem to go away.
If you constantly get the feeling that you have something in your eye it can be due to eye irritation. This can be another cause of eye redness. Causing inflammation in eyes — eye irritation can be caused by the following things:
- Chlorinated swimming pool water
- Frequent rubbing of eyes
- Allergy or infection
Infections can cause eye redness. If your eye is injured or wounded, it is at the risk of getting infected through dirt or bacteria. Some eye products like contact lenses and mascara can also cause infections.
Some common eye infections are:
- Infected eyelash follicles
Some signs of eye infections:
- Intense eye pain
- Light sensitivity
- Difficulty opening eyes
- Green discharge from the eye
Infections should be taken seriously and if you experience any of these symptoms, visit an eye doctor.
Glaucoma is an eye disorder in which the optic nerve gets damaged. It can destroy vision if not taken seriously or left untreated. Glaucoma builds pressure in the eye and causes pain. It is also a common reason for eye redness.
Symptoms of Glaucoma:
- Tunnel vision or blockage inside vision
- Sudden change in vision or blurred sight
This eye disorder is treated by reducing eye pressure. Your eye specialist will suggest you eye drops, laser treatment, some medications or surgery.
Uveitis, which is a form of eye inflammation, damages the central layer of tissue in the eyewall, uvea. Causing strong redness in the eye, Uveitis can affect one or both eyes.
- Blurred vision
- Eye redness
How to prevent eye redness?
If you experience red eyes more often, you will have to:
- Drink more water: Consumption of water will help you stay hydrated and helps prevent eye redness. Dehydration usually causes bloodshot eyes.
- Wear good quality contact lenses. Some contact lenses are made up of material which can cause infection. If you are unsure about which contact you should use, discuss it with your doctor
- Inflammatory Food: Avoid eating inflammatory foods including fast food and processed food.
- Environment: Avoid surroundings that are surrounded by allergens or smoke.