What is Red eye?
Red eye is a general term which is used to describe irritated and bloodshot in eyes. Red eye may also refer to broken blood vessels, inflamed eyelids, stye or red bump on eyelid. Expansion of blood vessels on eye’s surface may result in red eyes. Redness of eye can sometimes be more serious such as glaucoma or uveitis. If red eye persists or gets worse, it is advised to contact eye specialist for cause and proper treatment.
Red eyes are more commonly caused due to eye fatigue, allergy, and common eye such as conjunctivitis or for even over-wearing contact lenses. Some of the common causes for red eye are as below:
- One of the most common eye infections is conjunctivitis. This occurs when the thin and transparent membrane covering sclera becomes infected. When conjunctiva gets infected, the blood vessels present within it gets swelled giving eye a red appearance.
- Dry eyes: This syndrome occurs when the tear gland cannot produce sufficient quantity of tears in order to nourish and lubricate the eyes. As a result, the surface of the eyes becomes irritated and inflamed and this makes the eyes look red.
- Contact lenses: One of the major causes of red is contact lenses when not worn properly. A red eye, after wearing contact lenses is to be taken seriously. If such occurs, the lenses should be removed immediately.
- Computer screen: staring at computer screen for long period of time may cause red eye. It is because one blinks less while working on computers and this dries the surface of the eye.
- Allergy: When the immune system reacts with a foreign substance like dust or pollen, the body releases histamine to fight the allergens. The histamine released from body results in blood vessels of eyes to enlarge which makes the eyes red and watery.
- Eye injury: If the eye gets hit by any solid objects or even if there is minor scratches, blood vessels of the eyes dilate in order to allow more flow of blood the injury spot for healing the area quickly. This dilation of blood vessels may also cause red eye.
The symptoms of red eye are:
- Burning sensation in eyes
- Thick or watery discharge
- Swollen eyelids
- Irritation when exposed to light
- Sensation of foreign body
- Itchy eyes
- Itchy eyelids
- crusting or scaling of eyelid skin
Generally an eye specialist will be able to make correct diagnosis after an eye examination and querying about the symptoms, previous records, lifestyle etc. Sometimes, additional medical tests will be performed to find the actual cause of red eye.
There are several preventive measures for eye redness. These are
- It is important to keep hands clean always and wash them with soap
- If any kind of allergies show up, take a shower immediately.
- It is important not to share towels, sunglasses etc with others.
- If it is necessary to work in from of computers for long period, eye protecting screen guards mush be put
- Stay away from someone having conjunctivitis.
- Always keep eye clean by washing it with water.
Home remedies for red eye
Home remedies for curing red eyes are most efficient and affordable method. Most of the home remedies have no side effects. Some of the effective home remedies are listed as follows:
Cold Compress: The first home remedy for red eye is trying cold compresses. This method includes compressing the eyes for approximately five minutes using frozen or ice bags twice a day. This soothes the eyes as well as red rid of red eye.
Tea bags: If the redness of eye is accompanied with swelling, tea bags, especially green tea bags are highly effective. Applying tea bags on eyelids is a natural home remedy to get rid of red eye and also reduces swelling if any.
Milk: Dap cotton pads in milk and gently rub them on the eyelids. This gives a cooling effect and hence reduces the eye redness.