Although red eyes can sometimes be caused by a serious medical condition, there are numerous reasons why you might be suffering from red eyes. Often, minor ailments and environmental irritants can lead to red or uncomfortable eyes. While this may be distressing for sufferers, it doesn’t normally indicate that anything is seriously wrong. With medication and/or lifestyle changes, red eyes can often be minimised or alleviated completely.
If you’re suffering from red eyes, it’s important to find out why. As well as visiting your doctor or optician, you may want to consider the following causes of red eyes:
1. Dry eyes
If you’re suffering from dry eye syndrome, you may notice redness, itching or discomfort in one or both eyes. Typically, this condition occurs when tear production is limited. As tears cannot be produced, the eye is not well-lubricated and this can lead to uncomfortable symptoms. Fortunately, this problem usually responds well to treatment and can be generally managed with an artificial lubricant.
2. Overusing contact lenses
Many people rely on contact lenses and they can be a wonderful way to improve your vision. However, it’s important that you follow your optician’s instructions if you’re using contact lenses. When worn on a regular basis, contact lenses reduce the amount of oxygen which reaches the eye and this can cause some redness.
In addition to this, contact lenses may increase the risk of eye infections if they aren’t changed regularly or cleaned appropriately. If you’re experiencing red eyes and you wear contact lenses, it’s a good idea to consult your optician to find out whether your lenses are contributing to the problem.
Hay fever is, perhaps, one of the most common forms of allergies. Generally, hay fever occurs in the spring and summer months but people can suffer from allergies all year round. As well as being allergic to pollen, people may suffer from allergies to dust, mould or even perfumes.
In many cases, people will experience a wide range of symptoms if they develop allergies but red eyes can certainly indicate that an allergy is causing your discomfort.
4. Eye infections
Although eye infections aren’t particularly uncommon, they can be extremely uncomfortable. As well as eye redness, you may notice pain, itching, swelling and excess tear production. Depending on the cause of the infection, antibiotics or anti-fungal may be required so it’s important to see a doctor as soon as possible.
When to visit a doctor
If you’re suffering from red eyes, it’s always best to seek medical help before attempting to treat the condition yourself. While most instances of eye redness are caused by relatively minor health problems, red eyes can be indicative of more serious issues. If you’re concerned about red eyes or any other symptoms, contact your doctor, optician or pharmacist today.