Redness of the eye, also called bloodshot eyes, can indicate the presence of several different health issues. While some of these issues are benign, others are serious and require emergency medical attention.
If your bloodshot eyes don't clear up in a couple of weeks or you're bruising or have burst capillaries on other parts of your body, call your doctor to be sure it's not a sign of something more serious.
Eyes become bloodshot when blood vessels expand, making them easier to see than they usually would be. The most common causes of blood vessels in the eye expanding include excessive alcohol use and frequent smoking, but it can also be the result of direct contact with sunlight, chlorine, dust, smoke, dry air or solvents.
Other causes of bloodshot eyes include an infection, conjunctivitis, an injury, eye strain, a corneal ulcer, uveitis, an allergy, insufficient sleep or allergies such as hay fever. Over-wearing contact lenses is also a risk factor that many people with frequently bloodshot eyes recognise as the likely cause.
It would also be worth paying attention to your usual environment, as eyes are often irritated by smoke, humidity, wind and anything that could affect a pre-existing allergy. If any of these influences feature in your living or working environment, it could be the primary reason for your bloodshot eyes.
Due to the unpleasant appearance of bloodshot eyes and the discomfort they can cause, one of the main considerations is how long it will take for the symptoms to go. The duration of bloodshot eyes is mostly based on their severity and cause.
There are also certain medical conditions that might cause bloodshot eyes as a symptom. When the underlying condition is treated, bloodshot eyes usually dissipate as a symptom. These include the following:
In most cases, bloodshot eyes will resolve on their own or with treatment, depending on the underlying cause. If eye redness persists, visit a doctor. Some cases simply require stronger treatments than over-the-counter remedies or waiting it out.
Though not common, there are certain causes that can be serious. A doctor can perform the proper testing to determine the underlying cause. This is especially important if bloodshot eyes occur along with other visual symptoms, such as the following:
It is not uncommon for contact lenses to cause chronic bloodshot eyes. Doctors might recommend trying a different type or wearing a new pair daily to see if this helps. You may also need to use a different contact solution since you may simply react poorly to a certain brand.
Be aware of your surroundings. Since allergies and other environmental factors can cause bloodshot eyes, it is important to know if these are present. If you identify the triggers, you can work to avoid the factors that irritate the eyes the most.
If you experience bloodshot eyes that persist or come on suddenly, it is best to see a doctor. They can perform necessary testing to determine the underlying cause. This ensures the right treatment is administered.
This depends on the underlying cause. If your bloodshot eyes are due to an infection like conjunctivitis, the redness will pass within a week or two. If they are due to allergies, they will generally clear within a couple hours of getting away from the allergen.
If your bloodshot eyes are due to a bacterial infection, a doctor can prescribe antibiotics, which can help them to clear much faster. If they are due to an injury or medical condition, a doctor can assess the situation and prescribe appropriate treatments that can aid healing. 041b061a72