Red & Bloodshot Eyes Causes, Symptoms & Treatments

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Red eyes are a common condition present with red veins or dilated blood vessels appears over the white part of the eyeball (sclera) also known as bloodshot eyes. It can occur one or both the eyes.

Red eye or bloodshot eye has lots of eye health related causes, this is primary symptom of eye diseases.

Know the Main causes of Red Eyes (Bloodshot Eyes):-

Conjunctivitis or Pink Eye: Conjunctiva is a thin layer placed over white part(sclera) get infected by bacteria, virus, fungus symptoms are mainly red eye or pink eye, watering, discharge, photophobia. We need to observe this condition if redness is present for 2 days with these other symptoms definitely consult with eye doctor. Children are prone to infection because it is contagious. 

Conjunctiva is a thin layer placed over white part(sclera) get infected by bacteria, virus, fungus symptoms are mainly red eye or pink eye
Conjunctiva is a thin layer placed over white part(sclera) get infected by bacteria, virus, fungus symptoms are mainly red eye or pink eye.

Eye allergy: Redness is first sign of any allergies it may skin allergy, nasal allergy, sometimes food allergy, bloodshot eye is a sign of allergy due to dust, smoke or air pollution, pollen, fume, while swimming (chlorine water), sunlight expose, etc.

Glaucoma: Sometimes fluid production of eyeball obstruct by narrow way result is increase eye pressure in eyeball, damage of optic nerve, red eyes, headache, red veins, paining, dim vision. One of very serious cause of red eyes need a specialised glaucoma consultation.

Glaucoma - Redness of the eye sometimes can signal a more serious eye condition or disease.
Glaucoma – Redness of the eye sometimes can signal a more serious eye condition or disease.

Dry Eye: Tears production is less and evaporates very frequently it cause dry eye, signs are prominent red vein on white surface of eye ball, burning of eyes, tiredness, ropy discharge, uncomfortable contact lens wear.

Red eyes are a common symptom of a dry eye, lead to irritation and reddening of the eyes.
Red eyes are a common symptom of a dry eye, lead to irritation and reddening of the eyes.

Subconjunctival Hemorrhage: Bloodshot eyes because blood vessels break under conjunctiva bleeding will present over white part(sclera), appearance is very scary. Causes are sudden trauma or eye injuries, whooping cough, Wight lifting, hard sneezing, hard rubbing, sometimes unknown cause of bloodshot eye.

subconjunctival hemorrhage is leakage of blood from tiny blood vessels, causes the affected area of the sclera to turn bright red.
subconjunctival hemorrhage is leakage of blood from tiny blood vessels, causes the affected area of the sclera to turn bright red.

Uveitis: Red eyes is a symptom of inflammation of uvea, the vascular brown (Iris) along with red veins on white surface, mild pain, dryness, uveitis is a side effect of arthritis.

Other causes of Red Eyes (Bloodshot Eyes):-

These are not very serious causes of red eyes but better don’t ignore it.

Red eyes occurs sometimes after surgery for cataract operation, LASIK or others surgical procedures. Sometimes prominent blood vessels are present over sclera it may occurs permanently without any serious cause.

Life style matter like intake of alcohol, tobacco and insufficient sleep, prolong use of digital screen, after taking bath, cold and cough, fever and insect fall in eyes. Sometimes red eyes after sleep because less oxygen supply to front surface of eye shows red veins.

Over time use of contact lens, unhygienic lens and lens case, not following the contact lens tips, it has chance of corneal ulcer leads to vision loss.

Get Rid of Red Eyes without any Medication (Home Remedies): 

  1. If you have bloodshot eyes due to dust, smoke, other allergy or sometimes eyes get dry for long use of computer then use cold water to wash eyes, place cold ice pack over red eyes it will make your eyes comfortable and stable. Take sufficient time sleep.
  2. Artificial tear drops are safe, use over-the-counter tear drops to make moist eyes, after sleep eyes get red because inadequate oxygen supply to cornea. Never use steroid drops without any prescription or doctor consultation.
  3. Try to avoid touching eyes, never touch infected eye with another eye, wash hand because cleanliness is important who are prone to infection. Other family members, friends have to careful to infection case. 
  4. Try to avoid dust, pollutions, pollen, fumes, swimming pool water (chlorine water), wear sunglass, protective goggles. Never share contact lens, towel, handkerchief to others.

Treatment of Red eyes or Bloodshot Eyes:-

Person with red eye need observation up to 2days, it may occur with pain, tenderness, foreign body sensation, watering, discharge, burning, swelling around eye, dimness of vision, these conditions are serious symptoms to consult with eye doctor or Ophthalmologist. Doctor will determine the main pathological cause of redness and person has to keep passions for assessments of particular disease and take effective treatments.

Eye Drops for Red Eyes:-

Lubricating eye drops or artificial tear drops, most commonly advisable and easily available in market, composition are sodium carboxy methyl cellulose, polyethylene glycol 0.4 and propylene glycol. Preservative free drops are also available now a days.

Eye Drops for Red Eyes
Eye Drops for Red Eyes

Glaucoma drops like beta-blockers help to control eye pressure, mainly advisable for glaucoma person.

For eye infection antibiotic drops advisable with prescription, like moxifloxation, gatifloxation, tobramycin.

Decongestant drops composition is naphazoline helps to stable irritation and allergy.

Eye drops are not advisable for some special case such as small babies, pregnant woman, breast feeding mother, always remember before starting any eyedrops consult with eye doctor.

Anxious about your red eyes?

Make an appointment today to visit an eye doctor near you.

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About Banhi Maun

Being a Senior Optometrist With 10 years of experience on clinical optometry and ophthalmology. She is graduate in Optometry and vision science, worked at super speciality eye hospitals with her skillful knowledge. She shares lots of valuable information on eye health.

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