What Is Red Eye?
When the tiny blood vessels on the sclera (the white portion of your eye) become swollen or enlarged, it can create the appearance of red eyes. Many times, red eyes or bloodshot eyes result from irritation in the eye, which could be caused by:
- An eye infection (like pink eye or blepharitis)
- Subconjunctival hemorrhage (broken blood vessel)
- Dry eye syndrome
- Injury or trauma to the eye
While red eye isn't always a serious medical condition, you might need to get professional medical attention if you have symptoms lasting longer than one week or if you experience eye pain or vision problems. The highly trained specialists at inVision Ophthalmology Tuscaloosa perform thorough eye exams to diagnose red eye and can provide appropriate solutions at our office in Tuscaloosa, AL.
What are the Symptoms of Red Eye?
Because there are several different conditions or variables that can cause red eye, the symptoms may vary from patient to patient based on what is causing the red eye. For example, patients with conjunctivitis - or pink eye - may have a slightly different symptoms than a patient whose red eye is associated with environmental allergies. Some of the most common signs and symptoms of red eye and related conditions include:
- White part of the eye (sclera) appears red or pink
- Dry eyes
- Itchy eyes
- Stinging or burning eyes
- Watery eyes
- Discharge from the eyes
- Swelling around the eyes
- Crusting along the lash lines
- Pain or discomort in and around the eye
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How Is Red Eye Treated?
Red eye is diagnosed during comprehensive eye exams at inVision Ophthalmology Tuscaloosa. Your doctor will perform a thorough examination of your eyes and conduct several diagnostic tests. Based on your diagnosis, a customized treatment plan will be recommended to resolve red eye. Our doctors commonly prescribe different types of eye drops, antibiotic eye medications, and antihistamines. To help reduce redness and inflammation in the eyes, you can apply a cold compress to your eye for 5 – 10 minutes several times per day. Your specific treatment will be provided based on the cause of your red eye. In the event that red eye is the result of a more serious problem, such as an eye condition or trauma, our expert team can provide more advanced treatments along with close monitoring.
Red Eye FAQ
When should I seek medical attention for red eyes?
If you’ve tried eye drops, cold compresses, and other at-home remedies and your eyes are still red after a week, or you are experiencing vision problems, it is recommended that you schedule an eye exam. Other symptoms that may need to be examined include light sensitivity, crusty eyes, seeping mucous, pain and/or tenderness, or fever.
How can I treat red eyes at home?
Before you take any medications, check with your doctor. Here are some at-home treatments for red eyes:
- Eye drops, antihistamine drops, or artificial tears
- Cold compress
- Take a decongestant
- Avoid irritants like pollen, dust, chlorine, smoke, etc.
- Wash hands frequently
- Change towels and bedding daily
Are red eyes a sign of something more serious?
Red eyes mostly have benign causes but may sometimes be a symptom of a more serious condition, including conjunctivitis, corneal ulcers, keratitis, corneal abrasions, an object lodged in the eye, glaucoma, scleritis, and more. If you’ve tried at-home remedies without improvement or have worsening symptoms, schedule an eye exam at inVision Ophthalmology Tuscaloosa today.
Clear Up Eye Irritation
Red eyes are generally a minor problem, but you might still need to seek ophthalmology care, especially if you experience severe pain, light sensitivity, vision problems, or the appearance of blood in your eye. The board-certified professionals at inVision Ophthalmology Tuscaloosa are trained to detect red eye and can offer appropriate treatments to speed healing. To schedule an appointment with one of our eye care professionals, get in touch with our office in Tuscaloosa, AL.