Red eyes is a common term that refer to irritated and bloodshot eyes. It also may refer to:
• Subconjunctival hemorrhage: broken blood vessel on the white part of the eye which is mostly insignificant and not of concern
• Blepharitis, or inflamed eyelids margin
• Stye, or a red bump on the eyelid
• Contact lenses related eye irritation
• Chronic appearance of red eyes
Red eyes occur when the blood vessels on the surface of the eye expand or burst leading to bleeding in the most superficial coating of the eye.
Common Causes of Red Eye
Conjunctivitis: the most common eye infections, particularly among school children. It is usually caused by bacteria, but viruses can cause severe type of conjunctivitis
Dry eye disease: It is one of the most common causes of red eyes. Occasionally, long standing dry eye condition can result in permanent dilatation of blood vessels due to ongoing mild degree of inflammation on the eye surface. There is a strong relation between dry eye disease and inflammation of eye surface. Treatment is necessary to control the inflammation and replace the missing tears.
Allergy: Allergic conjunctivitis is another cause of dry eye that could be seasonal or all year round. It occurs when the immune system reacts to a foreign substance, such as pollen, dust, pet dander, dust or certain chemicals found in makeup or contact lens solutions. Histamine released from various parts in the eye surface leads to allergic eye disease symptoms such as red eyes, itchy eyes, and puffy eyelids.
Contact lenses. One of the main causes of red eyes. Ongoing irritation from the contact lenses or in those with dry eyes, the conjunctiva becomes inflamed and red. Contact lens use must be stopped if eye irritation does happen and you are reminded to seek medical advice. Sometimes, all you need is better contact lenses fitting so that they don’t rub against the eye. Other times it is the dryness when the contact lenses are in. Artificial tears could be used to alleviate eye redness. If the eyes suddenly become red and irritated then contact lenses should be removed immediately because there is a risk of corneal infection which can be serious.
Computer vision syndrome: Eyes can become red, itchy, burining, and tired when staring at a computer screen or other portable devices for long hours.
Careful diagnosis, eye examination, and treatment is important.
Eye injury: Eye trauma wether blunt or lacerating eye injury will make the eye red. Urgent medical advice is important to exclude major eye injury in case of eye trauma.
Eye Infections and Inflammation: Less common but more serious. Urgent medical advice is important if eye redness is not clearing or associated with other eye symptoms like pain in the eye, discharge, sensitivity to light, or reduced vision.