Red Eyes


Eyes | Ophthalmology | Red Eyes (Symptom)


Description

Red eye is a non-specific term to describe an eye that appears red due to illness, injury, or some other condition. Conjunctivitis and subconjunctival hemorrhage are two forms of a red eye.

Causes

Eye redness is due to swollen or dilated blood vessels, which cause the surface of the eye to look red, or bloodshot. Red eye usually refers to hyperemia of the superficial blood vessels of the conjunctiva, sclera or episclera, and may be caused by diseases or disorders of these structures or adjacent structures that may affect them directly or indirectly. Red eye could be due to an illness, injury, eye infections, or other condition such as allergies. One of the most common cause of red eyes are allergens and environmental irritants such as pet dander, pollen, dust, blowing wind, dry air and sun exposure. People who lack sleep will also experience red eyes.

Eye infections and inflammations can cause red eyes, as well as other symptoms such as itching, discharge, pain and vision problems like blurred vision. If a contact lens wearer doesn’t keep lenses clean and disinfected, or wears them for too long, he or she can experience red eyes.

Physical irritation leading to red eye can be caused by smoke, smog or dust in the air or by household cleaning products or personal care products, such as shampoo or soap that get in your eyes. If eyes are dry then redness is most likely to be experienced. Other times, red eyes can be of concern and may indicate that there is a more serious problem lurking such as blepharitis, conjunctivitis, corneal ulcers or acute glaucoma.

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