What’s with My Bloodshot Eyes?

OK, we all have red eyes at times. Allergy season, windy days, maybe a few too many cocktails the night before — there are lots of reasons our eyes can become red. Since we like our patients to have happy eyes, here’s what could be behind your red eyes. Some of them merit a visit to see at Central Valley Eye Medical, others not so much.

What are bloodshot eyes?

Bloodshot eyes develop when blood vessels near the surface of the eye become enlarged and dilated. They’re usually painless, but sometimes they become irritated and inflamed. They’re not normal, although common. Here are a few reasons your eyes may be red.

  • Dry eye syndrome

This occurs where there are not enough natural tears to keep the front part of the eye lubricated. When your eyes become dry, they become irritated. This can happen if you work on a computer all day, don’t get enough sleep, wear your contacts too long, and other reasons.

  • Pink eye

Conjunctivitis is the clinical term when the clear, protective layer that coats the front of your eye becomes infected or inflamed. Allergies, bacteria, viruses, they’re all guilty parties. It usually runs its course in a couple days, although we can prescribe antibiotic eye drops if bacteria are behind your pink eye.

  • Blepharitis

Inflammation of the eyelid and eyelashes, this can be caused by poor eyelid hygiene. Regularly clean your eyelids and lashes. Use a hot washcloth and soak them to loosen clogged oil glands.

  • Contact lenses

Wearing contacts can cause redness. If so, try using re-wetting drops when wearing your contacts.

  • Injury

Poking your eye with your mascara wand or accidentally brushing your eye with clothing can cause redness. Blood vessels inside the eye enlarge and dilate to bring blood and cells to heal and repair the injury.

  • Lack of sleep

Losing sleep tends to increase the retention of blood and fluid around the eyes, making them appear puffy and red. Lack of sleep can also lead to dry eyes. Not allowing the eyes to close for a long night prevents proper fluid circulation.

Bloodshot eyes are usually telling you something. You’re not getting enough sleep. You’re looking at the computer too long. You’re not cleaning your eyelids. Etc. It’s a good idea if they last more than just a couple of days to call us at Central Valley Eye Medical Group to make sure they’re not due to something serious. Call us at (800) 244-9907 to make your appointment.

Posted in: Eye Conditions

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