Are your red, bloodshot eyes making you look like an evil superhero? According to SpongeBob SquarePants, “It’s the red beady eyes that’s a dead giveaway for the evil fellas.” Unless it’s Halloween and you want to add dramatic effect, you probably don’t want to accentuate eye redness.
Although a case of red-eye is a common condition, it can be embarrassing and annoying to have to answer the same question over and over, “What happened to your eyes?” Chronic red eye can also be alarming if you are concerned that you may be developing an infection that could harm your vision.
When your eyes are red or bloodshot, it means that they have become irritated by an internal or external factor. Depending on the source of irritation, the redness may extend across the entire sclera, or it may be isolated to a few spots or lines in the whites of your eyes.
Associated symptoms of this condition can include:
- Itchy eyes
- Watery eyes
- Swollen eyelids
- Burning sensation
- Light sensitivity
- Thick or watery discharge
- Crusting or scaling of the eyelid skin
There are several common causes of red, bloodshot eyes. Dry eye is an eye condition that is gaining nationwide awareness, thanks to Jennifer Aniston’s educational campaign. When tear glands don’t produce enough tears to keep eyes lubricated, your eyes feel scratchy and irritated. It may be tempting to reach for that little bottle of whitening drops. These drops promise to reduce redness by constricting the blood vessels in your eyes, but they can exacerbate the condition and actually make redness worse after the initial effect wears of
Allergies are another common culprit of red, bloodshot eyes. Millions of Americans are allergic to pollen, mold, ragweed, pet dander, and dust. Spring and fall allergies can be especially brutal, but allergies can cause red eye all year round. Eyes can feel itchy, stinging, and inflamed if allergies are not diagnosed and treated by an allergist.
Ophthalmologists are getting more and more complaints about a condition called digital eye strain, which results from staring at a computer, tablet or smart phone for too long. Electronic devices emit blue light which reduces your blink rate and can cause dry eye, eye irritation and possibly even vision damage.
If your red, bloodshot eyes are making you look like the bad guy in a graphic novel, get some help by calling your eye care professional. Some cases of red eye can clear up on their own, but untreated redness could be indicative of a more serious condition. Make an appointment for an eye exam to rule out infection or other potentially harmful causes. Preserve your vision and improve your appearance (Source: Bel Marra Health).