Woman using eye drops to treat eye redness

Why are my eyes red? Common triggers for eye redness 

Have you ever caught a glimpse of your bloodshot eyes in the mirror and thought, "Why are my eyes red?" Many factors can contribute to eye redness, ranging from everyday irritants to underlying health conditions.

We explore the most common triggers for eye redness, shed light on possible causes, and offer insights to help you understand and address this common eye concern. Read on to discover practical ways to keep your eyes looking clear and vibrant.

Why are my eyes red?

Eye redness is a common condition that can occur for various reasons. Understanding the potential triggers behind red eyes can help you identify the cause and get the appropriate treatment.

Here are some of the most common factors that may contribute to eye redness.

  • Allergies. Allergic reactions to substances like pollen, pet dander, dust mites, or certain cosmetics can cause eye redness. When your eyes come into contact with these allergens, they may become irritated, leading to redness, itching, and swelling.
  • Dryness. Insufficient tear production or excessive evaporation of tears can result in dry eyes. This condition can make your eyes feel irritated and appear red. Factors like prolonged screen time, environmental conditions like dry air or wind, and certain medications can contribute to dry eyes.
  • Eye fatigue. Spending extended periods of time staring at screens, reading, or performing close-up tasks can strain your eye muscles, leading to eye fatigue. This can cause redness, eye twitching, and discomfort.
  • Eye infections. Conjunctivitis, commonly known as pink eye, is an eye infection that can cause redness, itching, discharge, and blurred vision. Bacterial or viral infections, as well as allergies, can trigger this condition.
  • Environmental irritants. Exposure to smoke, pollutants, chemicals, or strong fumes can irritate your eyes and cause redness.
  • Contact lens issues. Improper use, poor hygiene, or wearing contact lenses for too long can lead to eye redness and other complications.
  • Eye strain. Engaging in activities that require intense visual concentration, such as driving for long periods or working in poorly lit environments, can strain your eyes and result in redness.

While these are common triggers for eye redness, it's important to note that persistent or severe redness and other concerning symptoms may indicate an underlying eye condition or a more serious health issue.

If your eye redness persists, worsens, or is accompanied by pain, discharge, vision changes, or sensitivity to light, it's essential to seek medical attention at your local CityMD urgent care.


How to relieve red eyes

Dealing with red eyes can be both uncomfortable and frustrating. Fortunately, there are several home remedies and practices you can incorporate into your daily routine to help relieve redness and promote eye health.

To soothe red eyes, follow these simple tips.

  • Use artificial tears. Over-the-counter eye drops provide immediate relief from dryness and redness.
  • Apply a warm compress. Place a warm compress over closed eyes to alleviate redness and discomfort.
  • Practice good eyelid hygiene. Clean eyelids and lashes with a mild cleanser or baby shampoo.
  • Take breaks from screens. Follow the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds to prevent eye strain.
  • Protect your eyes. Wear sunglasses outdoors and use protective eyewear for hazardous activities.
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle. Adopting a healthy lifestyle is always a good idea to maintain your overall health. Eat nutritious foods, exercise regularly, and stay hydrated.
  • Manage allergies. Consult a CityMD urgent care healthcare professional for allergy management strategies this allergy season.

Remember, seek medical advice if redness persists, worsens, or is accompanied by severe symptoms. Follow these tips to keep your eyes refreshed and vibrant.


Treating eye redness at CityMD

At CityMD, we understand the discomfort of eye redness and are here to provide effective treatment. Our team will carefully assess your symptoms and create a personalized plan to address the causes.

We offer prescription medications, over-the-counter remedies, and helpful tips for managing redness. If you need further evaluation, we can also refer you to eye specialists at Summit Health as part of our connected care team.

Don't let red eyes hinder your vision — visit CityMD if you need relief. Just walk in. No appointment is needed.

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