7 Reasons Your Eyes Are Red—and How to Treat Them

A man squeezes the bridge of his nose with his hand

Red eyes can make you look and feel like anyone but yourself. There are several reasons you might develop this reddish tint but it is usually related to inflamed blood vessels near the surface of the eyes. Consider these seven reasons your eyes might be red.

1. Alcohol Consumption

Red eyes are a common sign that you’ve had one too many. The cure for this is to limit your drink limit to the legal amount. Also, try over-the-counter eye drops to help relieve the symptoms.

2. Poor Sleep

Bloodshot eyes are also a common sign that you didn’t get enough sleep. Going to bed at the same time each night is a simple change you can make to improve your sleep habits. You can also try artificial tears to ease the dryness and cold compresses to make your eyes more comfortable.

3. You Have A Stye

A stye occurs when an oil gland on your eyelid, top or bottom, becomes clogged. The best thing you can do is leave a stye alone. If you agitate it, you may end up making it worse. Eventually, the infection will clear on its own. If you get styes often, see your ophthalmologist.

4. Wearing Contact Lenses

Contacts cover the surface of the eye which means less oxygen reaches that surface. Make sure to take your contact lenses out at night and follow the instructions when it comes to cleaning them. If you develop discharge or redness that doesn’t go away, see your eye doctor. You can use eye drops to clear up the redness and soothe irritated eyes.

5. Broken Blood Vessel

A broken blood vessel (subconjunctival hemorrhage) means a blood vessel broke and there is blood trapped under the eye surface. The blood will disappear on its own over time, though if it is concerning, you should speak with an eye care professional. 

6. Allergies

Even if your eyes don’t feel itchy or tender, the problem might still be allergies. Try to figure out what you are allergic too, like pollen, and keep away from it. You can also try over-the-counter eyedrops specifically for allergies and an antihistamine.

7. Glaucoma

The worst-case scenario is glaucoma, one of the leading causes of blindness. If you have eliminated the other possible causes of red eyes, it’s time to get a thorough checkup. You should also be tested for glaucoma once a year.

If you find yourself with unexplained red eyes, give one of our offices a call. We will examine your eyes, a glaucoma test and offer solutions that will help you look and feel better. Eye redness may be nothing to worry about, but why take the chance? You can request an appointment on our website and one of our scheduling specialists will reach out to you. We have 8 convenient locations throughout Jacksonville, St. Augustine, and Palatka.