Redness can indicate an inflammatory process both directly in the eye and in the body. The redness appears due to the expansion of small blood vessels located on the surface of the eyeball. The vessels become more noticeable, and the whites of the eye (sclera) become covered by a vascular network which makes the outside of the eye appear red.
The redness may or may not be accompanied by related symptoms such as itching, swelling, or pain.
Reddening of the eyes with a background disease
Enlargement of blood vessels in the eyes may indicate a number of ophthalmologic diseases, including conjunctivitis and blepharitis. In this case, there may also be associated symptoms, such as purulent discharge, loss of eyelashes, and swelling.
Dry eye syndrome is also often accompanied by redness. In addition, the patient experiences palpable discomfort – the eyes dry out, pain, burning sensation and a feeling of sand. Office workers, schoolchildren and people whose work requires a high level of attention usually suffer from dry eye syndrome. Prolonged work at the computer and prolonged exposure to air conditioning increase the risk of developing the disorder.
Another serious cause of redness is corneal hypoxia. Chronic lack of oxygen leads to the overgrowth of small blood vessels. This disorder requires monitoring by an ophthalmologist! Most often corneal hypoxia occurs after prolonged contact lens wear. The body may react to infectious and viral diseases of neophthalmic nature with redness of the eyes.
Does your doctor need help?
If red eyes are not accompanied by additional symptoms, you may observe the dynamics of your condition without medical assistance. It is possible that it was a one-time reaction of the body to a bad dream, a strong wind or an allergen. In this case, the redness will pass on its own in just a couple of days.
If you notice that the redness does not go away or gets worse, and especially if itching, swelling, eye discharge, pain, burning, foreign body sensation or vision impairment are added to it, you should visit a doctor as soon as possible to rule out an illness and get adequate treatment!
Tips for those who use contact lenses
If you wear lenses, give them up for a while in favor of glasses. Your eyes will recover during the forced break. Micro-damage that may have occurred due to compromised lens integrity or improper donning technique will heal.
At the same time, the condition of the tear film will improve and the oxygen balance will be restored, but only if the condition of your eyes is not neglected. Otherwise, giving up contact lenses alone will not be enough.
If for some reason you cannot switch to glasses even temporarily, give up long-wearing lenses in favor of daily wear products. Also, if possible, try to reduce lens wear during the day, for example, if you wear lenses for 8 hours or more, try to switch to 6-hour use of contact optics.
If redness is accompanied by itching, swelling, pain and burning sensations, discharge, lacrimation and other accompanying symptoms, it is necessary to visit an ophthalmologist as soon as possible! In order to prevent red eyes it is necessary to carefully monitor eye hygiene, use only high-quality cosmetics, ensure proper and prolonged sleep, and follow all the rules of contact lenses use.