Red or bloodshot eyes are a common condition for many people. It happens when the blood vessels within the surface of the eye rupture. The result then gives the white part of your eye, the sclera, a reddish or pink color. Here we explain four common causes for bloodshot eyes and their treatments.

#1. Allergies

Both indoor and outdoor irritants like pollen, dust, mold, smoke, perfume, and pet dander can make your eyes red. The redness may also be accompanied with other allergy symptoms like a stuffy nose and sneezing. Your eyes may also burn, itch, and tear up. Taking an antihistamine or using eye drops will usually help reduce redness. Cool compresses can also help relieve discomfort.

#2. Eye Strain

Spending too much time in front of an electronic screen, reading in low light, or spending a lot of time in the sun can make your eyes bloodshot from eye strain. Resting your eyes will usually clear your eyes up. However, if you experience chronic eye strain, it is a good idea to see your eye doctor.

#3. Conjunctivitis / Pink Eye

Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, is an irritation of your eye’s conjunctiva. It causes the eye becomes inflamed, irritated, and itchy. Your eye will produce sticky mucus that may be colored. The type of treatment will depend on the type of conjunctivitis:

  • Bacterial will require medicated eye drops
  • Viral, which is extremely contagious, will need to run its course as any other virus but cool or warm compresses can help relieve irritation
  • Allergic, which is caused by allergies and its irritation can be reduced with antihistamines and cool or warm compresses.

It is essential to not rub your eyes if you have any type of conjunctivitis because you could cause a secondary infection or spread an existing one.

#4. Dry Eyes

Dry eyes, whether temporary or chronic, deprives your eyes of their natural moisture. The dryness can cause the blood vessels and membranes in your eyes stretch apart. The result could be redness, mild or intense eye pain, corneal scratches or ulcers, or loss of vision in extreme cases. Chronic dry eye is a treatable eye condition where an eye doctor may prescribe lubricating eye drops to maintain moisture in your eyes.

Do not hesitate to schedule a visit to your eye doctor for any issues pertaining to bloodshot eyes. In rare cases, bloodshot eyes could be a sign of a more serious eye condition, including glaucoma or serious eye infection. Contact Valley Eyecare Center at (602) 955-2700 to schedule an appointment.