Why are my eyes red? What causes red eyes?
When your eyes are red, there’s always one immediate cause, and it is always the same: Red eyes are caused by dilated blood vessels in the eye and the eyelid. The dilation of these small blood vessels leads to enhanced blood flow to the area. This blood flow is what leads to visible red eyes. The most common causes for red eyes include dry eyes, allergies, a foreign body (something in your eye), eye infections, a scratch or abrasion, and acutely high eye pressure. Anytime you have a red eye, you should see your optometrist or ophthalmologist for a proper diagnosis.
How to get rid of red eyes | How to treat red eyes
First and foremost, see your eye doctor. Without a proper diagnosis, you won't know the right treatment for your red eye. Red eyes are often due to inflammation or infection of the conjunctiva (the clear covering over the entire eyeball) or cornea (the transparent surface on the front of the eye). According to the American Optometric Association, the most common causes include bacterial and viral infections or allergic reactions.
Treatment always depends on the cause. But there are a few things you can do to avoid problematic red eyes in the first place. The most effective prevention is good hygiene:
Wash hands thoroughly.
Do not touch your eyes with dirty hands.
Change towels and washcloths daily.
Do not use another person's eyeshadow, mascara, eyeliner, or other cosmetics.
Wash hands before handling contact lenses.
Don't forget to replace your contact lens case frequently.
Follow the recommended replacement schedule for your contact lenses.
How to get rid of red eyes without eye drops?
We've already discussed proper hygiene, both in general and for your eyelids. The most important thing you can do is make sure you have a great eyelid hygiene routine in place. This means removing all makeup and washing your face at the end of the day. We recommend using a hypochlorous acid cleanser after that to ensure that your lashes are clean. Simply spray the solution onto your closed eyelids, rub it in with clean fingertips, and let it dry.
Is Visine bad for your eyes?
Visine contains vasoconstrictors that basically shrink the blood vessels of your eyes temporarily. While this helps with redness in the short term, it does not address the underlying reason why the redness is occurring. Ocular redness can occur due to many things, including inflammation and infections, and these should be addressed by an eye care professional. Visine and other redness relievers should be used sparingly because overuse may cause “rebound” redness, which is a worsening of the redness symptom. In addition to this, using the medication too often could cause damage to the vessels.
What is the best eye drops for dry eyes?
We recommend using preservative free eye drops because preservatives can often be irritating to those with sensitive eyes. Many over-the-counter and prescription eye drops contain preservatives such as benzalkonium chloride (BAK). When looking for a great artificial tear, look for one that is preservative-free. We like Oasis Tears Plus PF, but there are many others on the market as well.
What does Clear Eyes do to your eyes?
Clear Eyes works by narrowing swollen blood vessels to reduce the symptoms of eye redness. Naphazoline is a vasoconstrictor, meaning that it shrinks the small blood vessels on the front of the eye, making them appear less noticeable. Redness relievers like Clear Eyes are most often used for temporary relief of minor eye redness, but they should not be used long term.
How is Lumify different from Visine?
In general, redness relievers such as Visine (and similar drugs) work by constricting blood vessels on the eye. Visine, Clear Eyes, and other vasoconstrictors work directly on the eye's alpha-1 receptor, which is present in the arteries of the eyes. Lumify also constricts vessels, but it acts on the alpha-2 receptors, which are present in the veins. Since arteries carry oxygen-rich blood to the eye, while the veins do not, Lumify doesn’t inhibit the flow of oxygen and therefore avoids rebound redness.
What eyedrops are used for pink eye?
Pink eye is used as a blanket term for conjunctivitis, or an inflammation of the conjunctiva. However, conjunctivitis can be caused by many things, most commonly viruses, allergies, or bacteria. The cause of the pink eye will determine which eye drops are necessary (if any). For example, if the infection is bacterial you may need an antibiotic from your eye doctor. However, pink eye is also often used when speaking specifically about viral conjunctivitis. For this form, eye drops are not going to help. With viral conditions, time is the greatest healer.
What gets rid of pink eye fast?
Pink eye, specifically when talking about viral conjunctivitis, will go away on its own in a few days. In the meantime, ensure that you’re keeping your face and eyelids clean with thorough face washing and a hypochlorous acid eyelid cleanser. We recommend Heyedrate Lid and Lash Cleanser. You can also use cool compresses for symptom relief. Unless the pink eye (conjunctivitis) is bacterial, you will not need an antibiotic, although using artificial tears may be soothing. Visit your eye doctor for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.
Can you treat pink eye at home?
There is currently no medication known to help with viral conjunctivitis, and the allergic and bacterial forms of conjunctivitis may or may not be helped through medication. Treatment for pink eye at home should include proper face washing and eyelid cleansing with a hypochlorous acid cleanser, artificial tears as needed, and cool compresses for symptom relief until the pink eye clears. Make sure to see your eye care practitioner for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.
How can you tell if pink eye is viral or bacterial?
While both viral and bacterial conjunctivitis can look similar (think pinkish-red eyes), there are a few differences. Viral will show watery discharge, may spread easily from one eye to the other, and may begin after having a cold or upper respiratory infection. Bacterial often leads to yellow, mucus discharge from the eye and is usually only present in one eye, although it can occur in both. Patients will often wake up with their eyes stuck together if they have bacterial conjunctivitis.
Why does weed make your eyes red?
When you smoke or ingest cannabis, the THC lowers your blood pressure and dilates your blood vessels and small capillaries. This increases blood flow to your eyes and makes your eyes appear red. Of course, the smoke can also cause irritation, so your eyes may appear more red if you've been smoking vs. using edibles. In addition, the amount of THC you've used will make a difference in how red your eyes are.