How to Treat your Bloodshot Eyes

Everyone’s eyes get bloodshot or red from time to time, and most of the time it’s pretty easy to figure out why. Maybe you’ve been around cigarette smoke, or you’ve been swimming in a chlorinated pool, or your allergies are flaring up. Red or bloodshot eyes are typically harmless, but sometimes, they indicate a condition that warrants medical attention. How do you know if you can treat your bloodshot eyes at home or if it would be better for you to see an eye doctor?

  • If your eyes are seeping or crusty, with yellow, green, or brown mucus it could be a sign of infection.
  • Pain or unusual tenderness in or around your eyes might warrant a doctor’s attention.
  • An unusual sensitivity to light, along with red eyes, could indicate a serious issue.
  • If you have a fever or overall sickness in addition to your red eyes, you should seek medical care.
  • Exposure of anyone in your household to pink eye should cause you to talk to your doctor if your eyes become red.
  • Redness or discomfort that lasts for more than a week and doesn’t respond to home remedies warrants a doctor visit.

Red eyes can be an indication of a serious medical condition. There is an acute form of glaucoma, for instance, causes red eyes, along with severe eye pain. It also manifests with headache, decreased or blurred vision, rainbows or halos in the vision, and nausea and vomiting. If you have red eyes with these symptoms, you should see a doctor as soon as possible. Uveitis, an inflammation of the uvea, is another serious condition. Symptoms of uveitis can include light sensitivity, decreased vision, and eye pain, in addition to red eyes. Uveitis can be caused by an underlying systemic illness, and can cause numerous complications including cataracts, retinal detachment, and elevated eye pressure, all of which can result in permanent vision loss. Eye injury or infection and dry eye can also cause red eyes.

If your bloodshot eyes don’t seem to indicate a serious problem, you can try some home remedies or over-the-counter treatments to help relieve the redness and discomfort. Artificial tears can help with dry eyes, and antihistamine eye drops can relieve the red eyes of seasonal allergies. Cool compresses or washcloths on your closed eyes can also offer some relief. To avoid getting red eyes in the future, wash your hands frequently to prevent eye infections, and try to steer clear of irritants like smoke, fumes, pollen, dust, chlorine, or pet dander.

People tend to assume that red eyes will go away on their own, or with some treatment at home, but that’s not always the case. If you think your bloodshot eyes may require medical attention, the Gerstein Eye Institute in Chicago can help. Since 1968, the Gerstein Eye Institute has been providing exceptional ophthalmologic care to patients in the Chicago area. With decades of experience in ophthalmology, our certified professional staff members work hard to provide the kind of personalized care that keeps patients coming back year after year, eventually entrusting the eye health of their children and grandchildren to us as well. To schedule an appointment, call us at 773.596.9545 or contact us through our website.

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