Seeing Red -- What's Behind Your Bloodshot Eyes


Are you noticing that you have red, bloodshot eyes? There are lots of reasons they occur and just as many ways to treat them.

It's important to remember that most causes of red eyes are not serious and can be treated relatively easy. Here are the 5 most common reasons for red eyes:

  • Conjunctivitis. Better known as "pink eye," conjunctivitis is an infection in the conjunctiva (the thin membrane that lines the eyelid). It's highly contagious but treatable by your eye doctor.
  • Dry Eyes. Dry eyes can be a chronic problem for some people, which occur when the tear glands fail to produce enough tears to properly lubricate the eye. Although there is no complete cure, most sufferers find that "artificial tears" eye drops or a procedure known as punctal plugs may offer relief.
  • Allergies. Allergic reactions can cause many symptoms, including bloodshot eyes. Histamines are released by the body to fight off new allergens, sometimes causing blood vessels in the eye to enlarge and appear red. If you've recently been exposed to new allergens from the environment, animals, or even new eye care products, this may be a reason for your red eyes.
  • Contact Lenses. If you wear contact lenses, they may be a contributing culprit of red eyes. Failing to properly care for and disinfect lenses can cause them to become irritating to your eyes. Contacts may also cause chronic dry eye to get worse by reducing the amount of oxygen reaching your eyes. See your eye doctor to find out if a change can be made in contacts that cause redness.
  • Eye Drops. Ironically, eye drops taken to "whiten" red eyes may actually cause them. Overuse of such eye drops can cause you to need more and more to combat the same problem. Also, they may cause redness to return even stronger when they wear off.

Less common causes can be more serious, so it's vital not to dismiss red eyes that do not match with any of the above symptoms. In this event, you should have your eyes examined by a qualified optometrist or ophthalmologist to make sure it's not coming from a lesser-known eye problem. These include things like inflammation of the uvea of the eye, glaucoma, corneal ulcers and ocular herpes.

Whether your red eyes have come on gradually or suddenly, consulting with your doctor will bring even more peace of mind and help you find a treatment that works for you. For more information about eye health, contact an optometrist like those at  Arizona Eye Specialists.


14 August 2015

Need an Optometrist? Improve the Health of Your Vision Here

If your vision isn't as good as it used to be, you need to see an optometrist. I developed an uncontrollable twitch in both eyes. The problem became so bad that it interfered with my sleep at night. I became cranky, irritable and extremely self-conscience about my problem. At times, I couldn't see anything, even if it was close to my face. But after speaking to my regular doctor about my twitchy eyes, they referred me to an optometrist for an eye exam. The optometrist diagnosed me with poor nerve function. If I didn't do something about it, I'd lose my vision. My eye doctor prescribed eyeglasses to help me see better until I underwent surgery to repair the damaged nerves in my eyes. Now, I see just fine. If you want to know more about protecting your vision, keep reading my blog.