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What Causes Eye Redness?

July 18, 2017

Ever looked in the mirror and wondered why your eyes look so red? Eye redness can happen to anyone, however, it is important to know what the cause is and how to treat it in order to prevent it from getting worse or even happening again.

Eye redness is also known as bloodshot eyes. Eye redness occurs when the vessels in your eyes are swollen or irritated. It can indicate the presence of different health problems, whether they are light to very serious that may require emergency medical attention.

Common causes of eye redness include:

  • Inflamed vessels on the surface of the eye
  • Dry air
  • Colds
  • Coughing
  • Dust
  • Exposure to the sun
  • Allergic reactions
  • Bacteria or viruses

Many don’t realize that coughing can cause a specific condition of eye redness called Subconjunctival Hemorrhage. With this condition, a blood blotch may appear in one eye. If it is not accompanied by pain, it will then clear up in 7 to 10 days. Aside from your standard conditions such as trauma or injury to the eye, an increase in eye pressure or scratches on the cornea can be caused by overuse of contact lenses. Infections can also be a cause of eye redness which include:

  • Blepharitis – Inflammation of the follicles of the eyelashes
  • Pinkeye – Inflammation of the membrane that coats the eye
  • Corneal Ulcers – Ulcers that cover the eye
  • Uveitis – Inflammation of the uvea

The best way, however, to prevent eye redness is by using proper hygiene and avoiding irritants that can easily cause redness. These include:

  • Avoid activities that can cause eyestrain
  • Remove makeup from your eyes everyday
  • Wash your hands if exposed to someone who has an eye infection
  • Clean your contact lenses regularly