Red eyes (or red eye) is a condition where the white of the eye (the sclera) has become reddened or ‘bloodshot.’
The appearance of red eye can vary widely. It can look like there are several squiggly pink or red lines on the sclera or the entire sclera may appear diffusely pink or red.
While some of these problems are benign, others are serious and require emergency medical attention. The redness of your eye may be a cause for concern. However, most serious eye problems happen when you have redness along with pain or changes in your vision
Pink eye or conjunctivitis
This is a condition where the transparent outer layer of the eye (known as the conjunctiva) becomes inflamed or infected, causing the eyes to appear reddish or pink. In relatively rare cases involving babies, it may be the result of problems with the tear ducts.
It is contagious and is usually accompanied by symptoms like itchiness, discharge, and tearing. However, the Mayo Clinic notes that the condition rarely has any effect on your vision
Overuse of eye drops
If you take eye drops to treat any minor or major eye health issue, ensure they are used properly. Of course, this not only refers to technique but also the frequency of use.
Many over-the-counter eye drops contain imidazoline, which works by constricting blood vessels in the eye. But if used excessively, they can cause damage to the vessels, leading to redness.
Damaged contact lens
If you experience redness and happen to wear contact lenses, there is a chance that they may be damaged or fitting too tightly, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Those who wear lenses are also at high risk of developing corneal ulcers.
Make sure you follow care guidelines and avoid common mistakes when handling your lenses. For example, your eye redness could be the result of mixing fresh and used solution, increasing the risk of bacteria exposure even though you have ‘cleaned’ your lenses.
It is worth taking note of your exposure to cigarette smoke, dry air, dust particles, and other environmental causes of bloodshot eyes. For some people, it may even be a case of too much sunlight without adequate protection from ultraviolet radiation.
In addition, if you go swimming, your eyes could turn red as a sensitive reaction to the chlorine as well as urine in the pool. Experts also point out children may develop red, irritated eyes when exposed to volatile organic compounds, which may be found in products like cleaners, solvents, paints etc.
Too much screen time
If you have been spending too much time staring at screens, you may be experiencing digital eyestrain. As told by Dallas-based optometrist Janelle Routhier, symptoms may include headaches, red eyes, blurred vision, and trouble focusing on one thing.
Blinking is what helps us spread moisture across the eye, but when staring at screens, there can have a tendency to not blink enough. So make sure to take breaks and look away from your screen and focus on something at a distance.
Source: Medical Daily