Irritants, bacteria, and even bad habits – these are just some of the most common causes of eye redness. Although most cases of red eyes are minor, proper eye care begins with knowing all about this particular condition.
What people call “red eyes” refers to the reddening of the white area of the eye known as the sclera. Sometimes, the sclera becomes bloodshot, but the appearance of a red eye may also vary. It may appear as squiggly red or pink lines or a diffused redness all over the entire sclera.
In this article, you will learn the most important information on red eyes, including its causes and potential solutions, according to experts in optical in Dubai.
Red Eyes: Signs and Causes
Whether it occurs on a single eye or both of them, red eyes can also come with other symptoms, such as:
- Burning sensation in the eyes
- Irritation or Itching
- Dry or watery eyes
- Blurry vision
- Sensitivity to light
In some cases, bloodshot eyes don’t come with any other symptom.
Many things can cause red eyes. It can be a symptom of benign or serious conditions.
The eyes appear red because of the dilation of the small blood vessels between the sclera and the clear conjunctiva covering the eyes. Many of these blood vessels are too tiny to see, but they tend to become prominent when swollen because of environmental or lifestyle factors and some other eye problems.
Among the usual reasons this occurs are eye fatigue, misuse of contact lenses, or eye infections, such as pinkeye (conjunctivitis). Red eyes can also appear as a symptom of allergies (Remove link please) or more severe diseases.
8 Effective Remedies for Red Eyes
Like many conditions, red eyes can be treated based on what’s causing them. You can also try other remedies to clear your eyes and get rid of the discomfort red eyes may come with, including:
While rare, some cases of red eyes might merit a visit to your doctor, seeing an ophthalmologist remains the best option. Your doctor will prescribe a specific treatment based on a diagnosis of the symptoms you report. This will most likely include eye drops, antibiotics, and the other remedies on this list.
Soak a towel in cool water. Get rid of any excess moisture and apply it over the eyes. This can provide short-term red eye relief and help with the itchiness or swelling because of irritation.
Remember to avoid applying any extreme temperature around the eye area as it could make the problem worse.
If a cool compress doesn’t do the trick, you can also try the opposite.
Soak a towel in warm (not hot or boiling) water. Wring it out and check if the temperature is tolerable before putting it over your eyes. Keep it there for roughly 10 minutes to improve the blood flow in the area.
Doing this can also help boost oil production in the eyelids, creating more lubrication for the eyes.
Another way to improve red eyes is through lubrication. Besides doing it the natural way (through blinking), you can also use artificial tears to keep the eyes moist. This can be helpful if you’re experiencing dry eyes, whether it’s short-term or long-term.
Artificial tears can be bought over the counter, but you can also ask for a prescription from your eye doctor. Some cases of the red eye also improve better with cool artificial tears, so you can try refrigerating the solution before using.
Apply antihistamine drops if red eyes are caused by seasonal allergy.
The rule of thumb is to visit your eye doctor for a check-up before using any red eye removal products as they might be made with vasoconstrictors, which are drugs that shrink blood vessels.
Although making blood vessels smaller will definitely lead to clearer and whiter eyes, using red-eye removers too frequently may cause you to need them more often to keep the condition in check. To be sure, ask your eye doctor about this.
Get into an Eye-Friendly Diet
Aside from the short-term solutions mentioned above, you should also consider treating red eyes in the long-term. An excellent way to do this is to monitor what you eat and drink.
Hydration is important for your overall health, but did you know that lack thereof can also cause your eyes to be bloodshot? This is another reason to drink an average of eight cups of water every day to ensure proper fluid balance in the body.
You should also watch the amount of inflammatory foods you consume, as these can also lead to red eyes when eaten in excess. This includes:
- Processed foods
- Dairy products
- Fast foods
Decreasing your consumption of inflammation-inducing foods is considered a long-term treatment for your red eyes.
Studies have also discovered that eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids can aid in reducing inflammation. Fish (e.g., salmon) and nuts and seeds (like flaxseed) are recommended for eye health. You can also buy supplements containing these fatty acids.
Chronic red eyes may also be caused by misuse or overuse of contact lenses. Some contacts may also be made from materials that can irritate the eyes or may increase the risk of irritation or infection.
If you’ve just switched lenses or have had the same type for quite some time now and still get red eyes, consult your eye doctor. They can help you determine why your eyes are bloodshot.
Sometimes, the contact solution you use for your lenses can also affect your eyes. Some ingredients in the contacts and the solution might be incompatible, so make sure that the products you use are prescribed for you.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
Some environmental factors may also affect the health of your eyes. In some cases, red eyes are caused by allergens and irritants such as smoke, pollen, or dust. Humidity, dry air, and even the wind can also have the same effect.
Clear those Red Eyes
The treatment of red eyes begins with knowledge of proper eye care. When in doubt, consult an eye specialist so you won’t have to suffer from red eyes again.