Your eyes are sensitive structures that may easily turn red after they’ve been rubbed for some time. While this may seem harmless, it may also indicate an underlying vision-threatening problem. Let your ophthalmology experts at Simon Eye Associates answer some common questions about this symptom.
Q: Why Do My Eyes Turn Red?
Your eyes may turn red when the tiny blood vessels on the white part of your eyes (sclera) are ruptured, dilated, or swollen. This usually happens when they become inflamed as a result of eye infections, irritations, dryness, or trauma.
Q: What Eye Conditions May Cause Red Eyes?
Conjunctivitis, commonly known as “pink eye”, pertains to the inflammation of the thin tissues covering both your sclera and under your eyelids. This may be caused by a number of different reasons and results in eye redness, swelling, and irritation. Your trusted eye doctor advises undergoing a comprehensive eye exam as soon as possible to determine the cause, treatment and to potentially prevent infectious causes from spreading to others.
Dry eye syndrome also often leads to irritation and redness of the eyes. Eye allergies may cause your immune system to activate an inflammatory response. This may include releasing histamine, which causes blood vessel dilation and leads to red, watery eyes.
Q: Can Any of My Personal Habits Cause Eye Redness?
Prolonged gadget use and lack of sleep may lead to eye redness. There are also certain substances in cigarettes which may cause blood vessel dilation, resulting in red eyes. Using your contact lenses for an extended period can cause eye redness. This is why we make sure to give you detailed instructions on how to properly care for your contact lenses.
Q: What Are Other Accompanying Symptoms?
Red eyes may develop as part of an inflammatory response caused by eye infections or irritations. You may also have eye itchiness, swelling, or pain. Eye discharges and blurry vision may appear as well.
Q: What is the Suggested Management?
Proper treatment of red eyes depends on its causative factor, which is why performing an eye exam to determine the best treatment is a priority. Your optometrist may advise applying cold compresses, artificial tears or a change in contact lenses, to help the redness subside and relieve your symptoms. We may also prescribe antibiotics, eye medication drops, or other appropriate medications to treat this condition.
If you have any further questions about red eyes, call us at (302) 239-1933 or complete our form. We provide premier eye care to families in Wilmington, Newark, Bear, and nearby DE areas.