The direct cause of eye redness is swollen or dilated blood vessels. This can be the result of a multitude of conditions from eye dryness, to foreign particles like dust on the eye surface, to an ocular disease. Even overexposure to the sun can cause the blood vessels in the white portion of the eye, known as the sclera, to swell.
Eye redness may be the symptom of a more serious eye disease or condition. Patients with diabetes can experience eye redness as a complication of their disease, for example. Other eye conditions that cause red eyes include conjunctivitis, glaucoma, blepharitis, corneal ulcers, and uveitis.
Conjunctivitis is more commonly known as “Pinkeye.” It denotes the swelling or infection of the tissue lining the eyelids that cover the surface of the eye, or conjunctiva. Pink eye results from a virus or bacterial infection, and it’s common among children. Left untreated, it can cause loss of vision.
Eye redness that looks more like a bright, localized spot is due to a hemorrhage, or burst blood vessel. This can occur with excessive coughing or high levels of strain that trigger the rupture of the blood vessel. There’s usually no pain or effect on vision when this occurs, and the condition will clear up on its own over time.
If the eye redness is the result of fatigue or eye strain, rest is the best medicine. If it persists, however, for longer than one or two days, it’s worth having an eye exam to rule out a more serious underlying condition like diabetic eye disease. Any discharge from the eye, like pus or mucus, is a clear indicator of infection or may even point to damage to the cornea such as a scratch.
Most cases of red eyes shouldn’t cause more than a minor irritation. Pain or vision changes means something else may be going on with your eyes that requires medical attention. It’s always better to err on the side of caution when dealing with anything concerning the eyes because early detection is the key to preventing vision loss for serious eye diseases.
Founders Eyecare accepts the following insurances, among others. Please call our office to confirm that we accept your insurance plan.
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