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Everything You Need to Know About Red Eyes

Whether you woke up in the morning to find the white of your eyes bloodshot from lack of sleep, or your allergies are playing up again, one thing no one wants to do is face the world with red eyes. And luckily, we don’t have to because there are several ways to treat the common causes of red eyes.

What Causes Red Eyes?

If you’re wondering how your eyes become red in the first place, this is because of the changes to the blood vessels that supply the conjunctiva membrane, which covers the front of the eye and eyelids, Medical News Today reports. There are many causes of red eyes, including dryness, a bacterial infection, an inflammation, or an allergic reaction, and although many of these things are nothing to worry about and will clear, if there is pain or other symptoms including change in vision and sensitivity to light, you should consult a doctor, the NHS notes.

How to Soothe the Irritation and Redness

According to Healthline, if you want to ease red eyes in the short-term, you should consider using artificial tears, which can be bought over the counter and will help with dryness.

A warm or cool compress can also alleviate redness. According to Healthline, if you are using a warm or cool compress, be smart about the temperature as the area around the eyes is particularly sensitive and unreasonable temperatures could make the eyes worse. A cold compress can help with itching and swelling, while a warm compress can increase blood flow in the eye.

Medical News Daily reports that to prevent further irritation it's best to avoid eye makeup, do not wear contact lenses until the redness clear, avoiding smoke and other triggers, and wash your hands regularly to not spread the possible infection.

Most red eye conditions are easily treatable but should be treated early to avoid long-term damage.

Common Eye Conditions That Cause Redness

Lack of sleep can result in red eyes because of a lack of oxygen to your eyes, which causes the blood vessels to dilate, Health reports. The publication also notes that one of the simplest ways to treat this would be to sleep more or use one of the aforementioned remedies.

Another thing that could prevent oxygen to the eyes and cause irritation is contact lenses, and although they should not be worn for extended amounts of times and proper hygiene should be considered, eye drops can help soothe the irritation.

A heavy night of drinking can cause redness because alcohol causes the blood vessels to dilate.

Pink eye, or conjunctivitis, is one of the most common causes of redness in the eyes, and it is caused by a “bacterial, viral, or allergy-induced infection,” Health notes. Although the condition is uncomfortable and can cause itchy and swollen eyes, Health states it can sometimes be treated at home by using a cold compress and practicing good hygiene to not spread the infection. If it does not ease up in a few days, go to the doctor.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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