If you have a red eye, it is important to find out why. A red eye can be a sign of a medical emergency. A red eye is usually painless, and develops when blood vessels near the surface of the eye become enlarged and dilated.
While it is always best to seek the advice of your eye doctor, you may want to try a few red eye home remedies first.
1. Pink Eye
Pink eye, or conjunctivitis, is an inflammation or infection of the clear, protective layer that coats the front part of the eye. Pink eye can be caused by allergies, bacteria, viruses, or toxic substances.
Blepharitis causes inflammation of the eyelid and eyelashes and may be caused by poor eyelid hygiene. Oily eyelid glands, allergic reactions, bacterial infections, or lice on the eyelashes are also common causes of blepharitis.
Uveitis, an inflammation of the eye's uvea, can cause redness, pain, blurry vision, floaters and light sensitivity. Uveitis should be treated quickly because other complications, such as uveitic glaucoma or retinal and choriodal scarring, may occur if it lingers.
4. Dry Eye
Tears protect our eyes by lubricating, nourishing and protecting the surface of the eye. When tears are lacking, our eyes can become dry and irritated. Chronic dryness can cause the surface of the eyes to become inflamed and blood vessels to dilate, causing increased redness.
Surprisingly, frequent use of "get the red out" eye drops can actually make the eyes appear even more red. These whitening eye drops cause blood vessels in the eye to dilate, causing the eyes to appear even more bloodshot.
Wearing contact lenses can sometimes cause eye redness. In some people, simply having a contact lens in the eye is enough to make the eye red.
Redness sometimes occurs with an eye injury. Blood vessels in the eye enlarge and dilate to bring cells to heal and repair the injury.
If the eye's cornea becomes infected, nearby blood vessels become enlarged and swollen, as cells rush in to help fight the infection. These cells can cause visible redness.
A bursted blood vessel often causes subconjunctival hemorrhage. When broken, these vessels bleed and spread out underneath the conjunctiva. Subconjunctival hemorrhage can be caused by sneezing, coughing, straining, vomiting, trauma, high blood pressure, diabetes and sometimes from certain blood disorders.