What Causes Bloodshot Eyes?

20 November 2019

Author: Alex

What Causes Bloodshot Eyes?

At some point in our lives, we have or will experience sudden bloodshot eyes. The common “red veins in eyes” condition is incredibly common, due to many reasons that can cause it, such as hay fever, staring at a screen for a prolonged period of time, or rubbing your eyes too vigorously. Have you ever wondered what physically happens to make our eyes become so red and sore? To understand our windows to the outside world better, let’s dive into the topic a little further.

Bloodshot Symptoms

Our eyes become red is due to certain factors, triggering a reaction to the blood vessels, located between the sclera and conjunctiva of the eye. The small vessels (so small they usually appear invisible) start to dilate and expand, and this will cause our eyes to appear red. Depending on the severity of the conditions, other symptoms may include:

  • Burning
  • Soreness
  • Itchy sensation
  • Watery eyes
  • Irritation
  • Sensitive to light
  • Discharge

Bloodshot Eye Causes

Generally, bloodshot eyes are not something to  be concerned about, and are usually painless. In these cases it can normally correct itself within a matter of hours. There are a vast number of causes for red bloodshot eyes with the top most common reasons being:

  • Dry eyes
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Wearing contact lenses
  • Eye strain from looking at a device for too long
  • Allergies
  • Exposure to smoke and airborne fumes
  • Post eye surgery (LASEK, Lens replacement)
  • Cold and flu
  • Burst blood vessel

However, red eyes can occur in more severe cases due to:

  • Glaucoma
  • Trauma and injury to the eye
  • Chemical exposure
  • Overexposure to UV light
  • Corneal ulcers

Bloodshot Eyes Treatment

It can be tricky to know when to seek help for bloodshot eyes, as there are many elements that can bring on symptoms which could be treated with home remedies.
For instance,

  • If red eyes occur from an allergic reaction or hay fever, antihistamines can help curtail symptoms.
  • Simply washing your face and eyelids with cold water can repress irritable symptoms
  • If cold water doesn’t help, then over-the-counter eye drops/eyewash could be a great benefit, especially if you are susceptible to suffering from red eyes on a regular basis.
  • If you happen to experience bloodshot eyes after looking at a screen for a long period of time, it is advised to take a break and rest your eyes. This will also solve the issue if redness occuring due to lack of sleep.

In more serious cases, red eyes can indicate a concerning problem which could lead to complete loss of vision. Knowing when it’s time to seek medical help may save you from permanent blindness. You should also visit your optometrist or even A&E if symptoms become worse. You should act quickly if:

  • It hurts to look at lights
  • Your eyes have been injured or experienced trauma
  • Objects become stuck in the eye such as glass or grit.
  • Suffering from a severe headache and feel sick
  • Your eyes appear to be a very dark red 
  • Any changes to your vision like loss of vision, flashing or wavy lines

If you find that dry eyes is the cause for your bloodshot symptoms, depending on the severity, MiBo Thermoflo may be the perfect answer to your troubles. The procedure is non-invasive and comfortable with no pain or discomfort involved. Our specialists will apply ultrasound gel to the eye as well as upper and lower lids, and gently massage the area using MiBo eye pads. This method is also affordable so you won’t have to worry about burning a hole in your pocket. If you would to find out more, visit our Dry Eyes page.

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