There is a red spot on my eye

If it’s not painful, a red spot on the eye could be a minor eye problem like a burst blood vessel or conjunctivitis. Having a red spot on the eye should be investigated if it doesn’t start to fade after a couple of days.

What is conjunctivitis?

This condition makes blood vessels swell on the eye. It also looks as though the eyes are bloodshot and gritty. You may experience more watering than usual in the eyes or itchiness. The eyelashes might feel sticky too.

red spot on eye

Conjunctivitis is often caused by an irritating substance such as dust or chlorine. It could also be down to allergies or infections. The problem can just go away or you may need to use eye drops as prescribed by your GP.

Could a red spot on the eye be a burst blood vessel?

A burst blood vessel in the eye can be the result of coughing, an injury to your eye or straining.

Painful red eye

If you’re experiencing pain in your eye or your vision has altered due to a red spot, let your doctor take a look as quickly as possible. Uveitis (or iritis) is when the iris becomes inflamed. This condition goes away when treated with steroids which reduce the inflammation. Other red eye conditions include:-

• Glaucoma – this is when the optic nerve becomes damaged. The eye will become red and quite painful, you may have a double or cloudy vision and might feel sick. Your GP will refer you to a specialist. If left untreated glaucoma could lead to permanent loss of vision.

• Corneal ulcer – this can also make the eye look red and you will feel as though something is irritating your eye. If you wear contact lenses there’s a risk of bacterial corneal ulcers. People who suffer from cold sores are prone to viral corneal ulcers. Again, your doctor can refer you to a specialist who will then treat the problem.

• A foreign body in the eye or a scratch on the cornea – these two problems may cause painful and red-looking eyes. If there’s something in the eye, your GP will try and remove it. Don’t worry, anaesthetic eye drops are applied to numb the eye which helps to reduce the pain. A scratch on the eyeball is very painful indeed. Antibiotic eye drops are usually prescribed for this.

When to consult a doctor

See your doctor or ring the NHS 111 helpline if:-

• There have been changes in your eyesight or if you feel sensitive to light.
• You have severe headaches or have been feeling nauseous.
• You have a painful eye.