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What causes Bloodshot Eyes and How to Treat Red Eyes?

General

Dr Chirag
Dr Chirag
8 min read

Red Eyes has become a common eye condition these days as a byproduct of urban lifestyle and environment. It is coming across as a natural eye problem, mostly because of the overuse of technology. Although red eyes do not cause any intense effect, it sure is a warning sign to give extra attention to the well-being of the eyes.

Introduction to Red Eyes

Red Eyes also known as bloodshot eyes appears when the white part of the eyes (knowns as sclera) becomes red. The condition causes either wavy red or pink lines on the sclera or makes the whole sclera bloodshot.

The front part of the eyes is protected by a membrane named as conjunctiva. When the blood vessels of this membrane expand due to varied reasons, the whites of the eyes look red causing the red eyes condition.

Associated Symptoms of Red or Bloodshot Eyes

  • Green or brown mucous discharge from the eyes
  • Eye pain
  • Teary Eyes
  • Light sensitivity
  • Fever and state of cold
  • Blurry Vision

Causes of Red Eyes

Under maximum circumstances, the condition of red eyes is the aftermath of the lifestyle choices or the exposure of the eyes to pollution in the environment. However, there are also other severe and temperate conditions that dilate the blood vessels of the eyes making them appear red.

To cure red eyes, it is important to find out the actual cause of the condition.

Lifestyle or Atmospheric Causes

Environmental Factors: Smoke of fire or cigarettes, dry air, dust, airborne fumes, chemicals, UV rays of the sunlight, etc. are some of the factors in the environment which can trigger the condition. Also, eyes are prone to airborne allergens present in the atmosphere which usually causes eye allergies.

Smoking: Chemicals like formaldehyde, ammonia, and hydrogen sulfide, produced due to smoking cigarette affects the membranes of the eyes. It makes the eyes appear red.

Smoking Image

Smoking produces cloudiness in the eyes which also increases the chances of cataract.

Swimming: The water in the swimming pools are protected by chlorine. This chemical tends to remove the protective layer of the cornea making eyes prone to bacteria and dust, which makes the eyes appear red after swimming.

Swimming Image

Sleep Deprivation: Improper rest to the eyes can prevent the natural fluid circulation of the eyes which keeps them refreshing and clean. This condition makes the eyes appear unusual red.

Alcohol Consumption: Overconsumption of alcohol also dilutes the blood vessels causing the eyes to appear red.

Common Eye Conditions with Red Eyes

Dry eyes: When the surface of the eye lacks the proper lubrication and moisture it causes dry eyes. Dry eye syndrome is a common cause for red eyes.

Overuse of digital screens, aging, hormonal changes, dehydrated indoor environment, air pollution, etc. are some of the factors of dry eyes syndrome.

Pink eye (Conjunctivitis): This eye condition is found as another cause for red eyes. Conjunctivitis is an eye condition results on the inflammation of the conjunctiva, a thin layer over the white of the eye and the inner eyelids.

The causes for the pink eyes generally are a common cold virus, bacteria, and allergy.

Conjunctivitis requires necessary precautions as well as hygiene of the overall body to cure.

Digital eye strain: Also known as Computer Vision Syndrome is also becoming a common eye problem in the digital age. Arduous hours spent working on digital screens often causes digital eye strain.

Digital eye strain Image

Read Also: Simple Eye Exercises to Relieve Computer Eye Strain & Stress

Red eyes are one of the symptoms of this syndrome including blurred vision, eye-straining, dry eyes, headache, etc.

This eye condition is a close-call to protect the vision from the side-effects of technology. Treat your eyes with optimum rest and care to get rid of Computer Vision Syndrome.

Eye allergies: This general eye condition also causes bloodshot eyes with other symptoms like teary eyes, itching, and burning. Allergens in the atmosphere and air pollutants trigger the eye allergies.

Medications and hygienic precautions are remedial measures for eye allergies.

Contact lens Wear: Some users of the contact lens also complain about eye redness. Rewetting eye drops while wearing contact lens can keep a check blood-shot eyes with basic hygiene practices.

Read Also: Five Problems Only People Wearing Contact Lenses Can Understand

Severe Eye Conditions with Red Eyes

Corneal Ulcer or Infection: An infection on the cornea with the symptoms of red eyes, pain, discharge, and reduced vision is called a corneal ulcer.

It is a serious eye disease which even has the consequence of complete vision loss. Hence, corneal ulcer needs the attention of an expert eye doctor, immediately.

Uveitis: Uvea is the middle layer of the eyes, on its inflammation, it triggers uveitis, a serious eye condition. It causes red eyes along with other symptoms as pain, blurry vision, dark spots, and sensitivity to light. Prescribed steroids reduce inflammation in the eyes to cure uveitis.

Subconjunctival Hemorrhage: This eye-problem is a result of a damaged blood vessel underneath the conjunctiva membrane of the eyes. It turns the color of the eye an intense red. Sometimes it also swells the eyes, when the blood gathers at one place.

A subconjunctival hemorrhage doesn’t harm the eye much, as harmful it appears. It can be caused due to coughing, sneezing, any blood disorder or heavy lifting.

Remedial Measures for Red Eyes

Home remedies and added care can cure red eyes or bloodshot eyes condition, under normal circumstances.

Home Remedies to Cure Red Eyes

Home Remedies Image

  • Apply cool compresses or washcloths soaked in cool water on the closed eyes for multiple times in a day.
  • Artificial tears or preservative-free lubricating eye drops, available over-the-counter moisten the eyes which can help to heal bloodshot eyes.
  • For seasonal allergies, over-the-counter antihistamine eye drops works to cure red eyes.
  • Red eyes due to allergies can be treated with over-the-counter antihistamine eye drops with a steroid.

Hygiene Habits to Prevent Red Eyes

  • It is important that you avoid the exposure from red eyes triggers like smoke, pollen, dust, fumes, chlorine or pet dander.
  • Avoid wearing contact lenses during the bloodshot eyes problem.
  • Clean your hands regularly. Do not touch eyes without cleaning your hands properly.
  • Use clean clothes, bedding, and towels.
  • It is advised to not apply eye makeup during red eyes condition. If necessary, use hypoallergenic eye makeup.
  • In the case of seasonal allergy, take a shower before sleep as well.

Conclusion

Red or bloodshot eyes may seem like a familiar eye condition which does not cause any serious consequences, usually. In exceptional cases, red eyes can be a distressing eye problem.

If it causes trouble for a long time or the symptoms look harsh, then it is advisable to visit a specialist eye doctor for the inspection, at immediate notice.

Eyes are sensitive parts of the body as they are exposed directly to the atmosphere. Treat them with care and attention to keep your vision intact in the long run.