If you’re getting plenty of sleep and taking good care of your general health, you don’t expect to have red eyes every day. Red, bloodshot eyes make you look tired or unwell. Here, we discuss what may cause this condition and what you can do about it.
Minor Causes of Red Eyes
There are a few relatively benign reasons for the eyes being red. These include:
- You might spot allergies as the cause for your eye redness if the problem occurs more often at certain times of the year. For example, if you’re allergic to pollen, your eyes may be red when pollen counts are high, usually in the springtime. In addition to redness, allergies also cause the eyes to itch and water. These symptoms often coincide with stuffiness or sneezing. If your red-eyes are caused by allergies, you may benefit from an over-the-counter medication or may need to see an allergist.
- Broken blood vessels. This is somewhat like a bruise on the eye. The eyes have very small, delicate blood vessels. Breakage is not uncommon and is also usually not serious. Within a short time, the redness should clear up on its own. If redness is severe or is accompanied by pain, see an eye doctor.
- Dry eyes. If your eyes are red and you also have a gritty sensation or feel like there is something in the eye, like a small hair or dust, your redness may be caused by dry eye. This condition may be a result of too much screen time or very dry air. OTC eye drops or artificial tears may do the trick. If the problem persists, though, see an eye doctor for a better solution.
- Pink eye. This minor eye infection, called conjunctivitis, needs to at least be evaluated by an eye doctor. No treatment may be needed unless the infection is caused by bacteria, which is rare. In addition to redness, pink eye usually has a burning sensation. In cases of viral pink eye, a doctor may prescribe medication to manage symptoms until the infection resolves on its own.
When red eyes attack and do not go away quickly, see an eye doctor. Avoid using eye drops that claim to reduce redness. These may mask an issue that needs to be examined or possibly make the eyes worse.