Red eyes can be present in one or the two eyes and might have pain, tingling, discharges, swelling, or visual problems like blurred vision. Sometimes, red eyes can simply be due to irritation.
Red eyes may show up all of a sudden, especially when there are allergies or eye injuries. If you think that your red eyes are an emergency, you should visit an eye specialist.
Red eyes may be due to the enlargement of the blood vessels on the eyes. They may also be due to subconjunctival hemorrhage, broken blood vessels, blepharitis or inflamed eyelids and sties or red bumps on the eye lids. Contact lenses can also bring about red eyes.
Red eyes typically are caused by hypersensitivity, eyestrain, over-wearing of contact lenses or eye infections like conjunctivitis.
Other symptoms accompanying a red eye include:
- Occasional blurred vision
- Eye fatigue
- Sensitivity to light
- Severe pain in the eye
- Rainbows or halos in your vision
- Nausea and vomiting
Your doctor will take a detailed medical history and do an eye exam. If there is eye discharge, the doctor may send it to a laboratory for testing.
Treatment depends on the cause.
The doctor may recommend these treatments:
- Artificial Tears
- Cold or warm compresses
- Removal of contact lenses
- Antibiotic eyedrops
- Antiviral medications
- Eye steroids and anti-inflammatory drops