Red Eyes: All about The Causes and Treatment Options

Red Eyes: All about The Causes and Treatment Options

Feb 01, 2020

Eye health is a significant part of human life. The sensitivity of the eyes makes them prone to infection and damage. It is why everyone should take extra caution when it comes to caring for their eyes. Any slight infection can escalate into a serious case of eye problem, with the worst extreme being blindness. Thankfully, you will always know when something is wrong with your eyes. The most obvious signs are usually itchiness and redness of the eyes.

What Are Red Eyes?

It is a condition in eye care where the sclera of the eye reddens. The sclera is the white part of the eye. There are variations to red eyes, depending on how it appears in the eyes. For some people, the entire sclera of one or both their eyes turns red or pinkish. For others, it may only manifest as several strokes of red line in the sclera.

The reddening of the eyes is in itself a symptom of an eye disorder. However, the condition red eye manifests differently, not just as a symptom of another infection.

Signs of Red Eye Condition

The signs of red eye are typical and obvious, including the following:

  • Irritation and burning
  • Itchiness
  • Dryness
  • Watery eyes
  • Discharges in the middle of the day
  • Pain and sensitivity to light

Even then, not all patients experience the signs. Red eye condition can still happen, with the only sign being reddening of the sclera. Besides, you may have the condition in only one eye, or in both.

What Causes Red Eyes?

There are a number of ways to explain eye redness causes, given that reddening can be a symptom of another eye condition. However, redness in the sclera of the eyes results from the small blood vessels in the eyes dilating. Since these blood vessels are located in the sclera and also the conjunctiva, the white part of the eye turns red.

Ideally, blood vessels dilate and contract as per changes in the environment. These changes are usually visible if someone is looking close in the eyes. However, the redness can worsen if the dilation is too much. Some of the causes of this issue include:

  • Eye fatigue – if especially your work environment causes eye strains
  • Airborne allergens
  • Environmental factors – including smoke, dust, toxic fumes, chemicals, to mention a few
  • UV rays – due to over-exposure of the eyes to sun rays.
  • Over-wearing contact lenses
  • Infection – can be due to contamination of a disease.
  • Lifestyle factors – some people have unhealthy lifestyles that cause over-dilation of the eyes. This includes excessive usage of alcohol, tobacco smoking and marijuana. Besides, different types of drugs have an effect on the response of the body, and the effect will manifest even in the eyes.
  • Stress – stress is a psychological factor that puts a strain on the brain and head. Any issues in the head manifest all through the facial muscles, as well as the eyes. Stressed patients often have red eyes.
  • Migraine headaches – the head carries a lot. any issues with the head causes problems even for the mouth, leave alone the eyes.

Other than the factors highlighted above, some eye diseases can result in eye redness. For these, redness is just an indicator of some other problem. Such situations include:

  • Conjunctivitis – also known as pick eye condition
  • Dry eye condition – caused by inconsistencies in the tears and oils in the eyes
  • Eye allergies – some people are allergic to certain things, including fluids, detergents and soaps, to mention a few.
  • Acute glaucoma
  • Corneal ulcer
  • Eye injuries and traumas

Further to that, some eye works can also cause reddening of the eyes. This is common among patients who have had any medical intervention for their eyes, especially eye surgery. Most patients of LASIK eye treatment experience red eyes. However, this should subside as the healing occurs. Should the redness persist, talking to an optometrist is best advised.

Treating Red Eyes

The best way to treat red eyes is by getting an expert’s opinion on it. Depending on what the diagnosis of your problem is, the treatment options range from eye drops, lifestyle changes, eyeglasses, to mention a few. Be careful about self-diagnosing a treatment for yourself, as this can worsen the condition you have.

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