In the morning, have you ever looked into the mirror and spot that horrific bloodshot eyeball looking like a zombie in the movie? Bad news! You are having a condition called “eye redness” which occurs in everyone every now and then.
But don’t worry & keep calm!
Red eye is a very common problem of the eyes when the sclera (the white part) becomes reddened, and it can happen to anyone. Eye redness can look different from one to another. Sometimes it may appear like zigzagging red lines on the surface of the sclera, or it can be entirely red or pink depending on the severity of the case.
1. Common causes of red eyes
Red eyes can occur for many reasons. Sometimes you have it after a heavy drink at night, or sometimes you get poked in the eyeball. The clear, thin membrane of the eyes called conjunctiva used to cover the front surface of the eyes and the inner surface of the eyelids has many blood vessels inside. When it is triggered by some factors, these blood vessels can dilate and cause the eyes to become reddened or pink.
Eye redness can be the result of an allergy, eye fatigue after wearing contact lenses. Eye infections such as conjunctivitis can also be one of the main and common reasons. However, when red eyes appear for no reason, you should be careful because this can be a sign of some serious disease such as uveitis or glaucoma.
Here are some of the common causes of eye redness you should know:
+ You have allergies
The allergy you get from your pet’s hair or pollen from plants can trigger irritation and make your eyes become reddened. If the condition is from allergies, you might also have some of these following symptoms:
- Your eyes get itchy
- You feel a burning sensation
- Your eyes become watery
+ You may have dry eyes
Eye redness sometimes also comes after dry eye condition. When your eyes produce bad quality tears or the tears are evaporating too fast that makes your eyes become dry, it also causes redness to the eyes. Aside redness, in this case you might experience some other symptoms, including:
- Feeling gritty and uncomfortable
- Having a slight burn in the eye
- Blurred vision occurs sometimes
- Eyelids feel heavy and fatigue
- Discomfort when wearing contact lenses
+ Pink eye can be the reason
Pink eye or conjunctivitis is when your eyes are having an infection and the lining inside the eyelid and the white part of the eye get inflamed. Virus, bacteria or irritants in harsh chemical substances like pool chlorine are among the causes of pink eye. This condition is very popular especially in children and it can spread from one to another person.
Some of the symptoms include:
- Your eyes become watery
- You feel burning inside
- Puss discharged from the eyes
- Your eye becomes very sensitive to the light
- Crust appears on your eyelid or eyelashes
+ Other causes of red eye
Some other causes of red eye may include a range of eye conditions such as dry eyes, eye strain by overtime screening, or over-wearing contact lenses. Beside, LASIK eye surgery patients can also experience eye reds after the operation. And finally, smoking (marijuana or tobacco) or drinking alcohol can also give you bloodshot eyes.
2. How to cure red eyes naturally?
When eye redness appears without pain or for no reason, you should not overlook these cases. A visit to your doctor might tell you what’s going on with your eyes and offer a proper treatment before it becomes worse. If eye redness occurs due to common causes such as eye allergies or over screen time on the computer, you can treat the symptoms with special home care. However, if it does not show any sign of healing, you should have your eyes checked with specialists as soon as possible.
For home-care treatments, one of the easiest ways to reduce eye redness is warm compresses, in which a clean cloth soaked in warm water will be applied and compress on the eye areas. This works well in some cases of mild dry eyes and help to relieve the symptoms naturally.
If you see a doctor, there will be a change he will ask about your current health conditions and the reason causes your eye redness. Besides, your eyes will be also washed out with saline solution to remove any irritants.
Prescribed treatments will be based on how serious your case is. It may vary from antibiotics, eye drops, etc.
The most common drop that used to temporarily cure eye redness is “red eye remover”. A drug called vasoconstrictors in this drop will relieve and shrink swollen blood vessels, turning it to white again.
However, it is not recommended to overuse this drop because your eyes might become dependent on the drug to keep red eye away. And in the worst case, your eyes might experience more red if you stop using the drops.
If you cannot see a doctor right away for some reasons, stop wearing your contact lenses and use normal glasses until you can make an appointment with the doctor. You might also need to bring along your contact lenses type so that the doctor can know whether it causes your symptoms.
Another quick-fix before you get your eye condition checked is using preservative-free lubricating eye drops. You can have a look at our 5 best free-preservative eye drops for your eye problems here. Make sure you constantly moisture your eyes before seeing a doctor.
3. When to see a doctor?
In most cases, eye redness does not require medical emergency. However, the condition can potentially get worse if you don’t attend it appropriately. You should immediately see a doctor if you experience some of these severe signs:
- The symptoms last for more than a week and does not show any sign in reduction.
- Your vision has changed unusually.
- You feel a little bit of pain and experience some discomfort to some extent.
- Your eyes become very sensitive to the light.
- Your eyes produce mucus.
If nothing is serious, consider a visit to an eye clinic when you have these:
- After a trauma or injury, your eyes become red without pain.
- You feel headache by red eyes and have a blur vision.
- You experience white rings, halos around lights when you look at them.
- You feel a wave of nausea hit you.
4. Do red eyes have complication?
Good news! eye redness does not give you any complications as we know so far. However, it can lead to infection and cause certain difficulties to some extent.
If you work in those areas that require to perform tasks such as driving or controlling machinery, this may pose potential risk of accident or injury yourself. In the worst case, infections from eye redness can leave permanent damage to the eyes if the problem is not addressed timely.
In a nutshell, if your symptoms do not go away in 3 days, you must seek medical attention as soon as possible.
5. How to prevent eye redness?
Eye redness in most cases, when caused by environmental factors can be avoided by using hygiene solutions or preventing irritants that trigger the symptoms. Check out these following useful tips that may help you to stay away from the eye redness before it occurs:
- You should make sure that your hands are properly washed after you are exposed to another person whose eyes are infected.
- If you usually wear makeup, it is necessary to remove them from your eyes at the end of the day.
- Never over-wear contact lenses even if it is said that it’s safe. You should always remove it within the recommended period of time (depending on different types of contact lenses).
- Make sure you use proper hygiene solutions to clean your contact lenses, and do it regularly.
- Eye strain can lead to eye redness if you spend your time long enough on digital screens. Activities like using a computer can cause eye strain.
- Anytime you are out in the polluted environment or pollen season, wear protection such as goggles or glasses to avoid irritants.
- When you are in contact or in close proximity with chemicals, avoid substances that potentially make your eyes become irritated
- In case when your eyes get infections or become contaminated, try to wash it immediately with clean water or eyewash.