Causes and symptoms of a reddish eye

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Red eye occurs mostly as a result of changes to the blood vessels that provide blood to the membrane covering the front of the eye known as conjunctiva. The dilation of the conjunctiva makes the eyes become reddish.Factors that may expose the eyes to redness include infection, inflammation and allergic reaction to certain foods or drugs. In most cases however, the leading cause of red eyes is conjunctivitis.


Conjunctivitis is a medical condition characterized with the inflammation of the surface of the eye which may be attributed to infection and irritation.

It is important to know that when there is a discharge from the eyes, the likely cause is either bacteria or viral infection. A stickier discharge is associated with bacteria. An infectious conjunctivitis easily spread to the two eyes and is often caused by common cold while a noninfectious conjunctivitis is often caused by an allergic reaction.



Common Causes of Red Eye
Apart from conjunctivitis, there are several conditions that may cause red eyes. However, it must be emphasized that they do not cause reddish eyes like conjunctivitis does. In most cases, it is only the wider part of the eyes that turn reddish as the surface of the eyes is always excluded from the redness. They are as follows:

Blepharitis: occurs when there is itching, redness, flaking and crusting on the edge of the eyelids. This is mostly caused by bacteria or problems with glands under the eyelids.

Stye: is a reddish bump in the eyelid usually caused by bacterial infection.

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Chalazion: is a bump that occurs when the gland in the eyelid becomes blocked.

Subconjunctival hemorrhage: occurs when there is a broken blood vessel immediately beneath the surface of the eye.

Dry eyes: occurs when the eyes lose a high amount of watery substance or secrete low level of tears. In situation where the dry eyes are to work environment or exposure to computer screens, there is need to use screen guard or using protective glasses in a dusty environment.
The use of contact lenses can also make the eye becomes reddish.



Treatment options

The treatments of conjunctivitis and other causes of red eyes include the use of relevant antibiotics drugs. Eye drop drugs can also be used to treat allergic reactions.

In addition to the above, surgical removal of large bumps may be done when vision is becoming obstructed in cases of stye or chalazion.

Available home remedies for conjunctivitis include avoiding the use of contact lenses, staying off eye makeup, using clean cotton wool soaked with warm water to clean the eye and engaging in good hygiene as well as desisting from sharing towel especially in allergic situation.
Complications that may cause red eye

Glaucoma: a condition characterized with damaged optic nerve and often leads to loss of vision. Common symptoms include eyes pain, reddish eyes, and headache amongst others.

Corneal scratch or abrasion: occurs when the surface of eye. An ill-treated damage often leads to infection or ulcers.

Uveitis: happens when there is inflammation of the part of the eye that gives eye its color.

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End note
It is advisable to seek prompt medical attention if there is any red eye problem resulting in painful eye, sensitivity to light, discharge and so on.



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