Why Are My Eyes Red? 10 Reasons For Bloodshot Eyes

Red eyes

In this article, we’ll cover some common reasons behind getting red eyes.


An individual’s eyes can become red when the blood vessels in the tracts are interrupted, swell up, or experience a sense of irritation due to the entry of foreign particles.

The main cause of your red eyes can be a very basic issue, a series of diseases, or a fatal vision-losing problem that must be attended to immediately. This situation of bloodshot eyes can arise when the blood vessels are dilated due to the intended or unintended consumption of substances and particles. In fact, a lot of such issues can be solved by taking proper eye care medications like Cyclosporine eye drops.

The odds of you having red-eye more than once in your life are ridiculously high and though you may have had answers sometimes, there also must be situations where you were left scratching your head wondering what the problem was.

Environmental Reasons Contributing To Red Eyes

The most common reasons for red eyes are rubbing the eyes too much, insufficient sleep, irritation and burning sensation due to external particles, dryness due to insufficient internal lubrication, over sensitivity to light, painful eyes, and situations where tears are secreted.

Any of these situations can arise due to the following environmental and natural medical conditions.

  • Major amounts of air pollution when you are on a crowded street or in the vicinity of a construction/demolition site.
  • There are a number of airborne allergens that when in contact with your eyes can lead to temporary and even permanent eye allergies.
  • Anybody around you smoking any form of substance, be it nicotine or tobacco. This smoke is inhaled passively and the effects are imparted on you too. Even if you are stuck around a large fire and cannot cover your eyes, your eyes are bound to turn red.
  • If you are exposed to chlorine in swimming pools then the chemicals seep into the eyes and redness occurs due to discomfort caused.
  • Exposing yourself to sunlight for a prolonged duration of time without wearing any kind of UV-blocking sunglasses.
  • Fumes that are airborne, such as burned petroleum, solvents, gasoline, and electronic garbage waste burning.

All the above-mentioned points are irritants that can lead to redness.

Medical Conditions Leading To Red Eyes

1. Subconjunctival Haemorrhage

The conjunctiva is the eye consists of millions of capillaries and blood vessels. When people take large doses of medication for high blood pressure, diabetes, or rub and strain their eyes too hard, these capillaries and blood vessels can break, leading to the release of blood in-between the white portion of the eye and the conjunctiva.

Due to this, there are small bloodshot spots present on the eye’s outer membrane. Luckily, the surface of the eye is the only infected spot, the cornea and retina are unaffected, thus there is no chance of vision loss.

The condition may look brutal and you may wish to rush to a hospital. But do not worry as in reality it is not much of a problem and the body heals the internal wounds by itself.

2. Conjunctivitis

The conjunctiva is a delicate collation of tissues that is present around the lining of the eyelids and covers the entire circumference of the sclera (white portion of the eye). When the conjunctiva is infected, the blood vessels in the eye section begin to undergo swelling due to inflammation. This inflammation leads to turning the white portion of the eye to bright red/pinkish in color, which is why it is alternatively called Pinkeye.

This infection can easily be spread via direct contact with anything – living or non-living – that has touched the contaminant. It begins in the upper respiratory tract of humans and can be given to others due to cold and cough.

Another form of Conjunctivitis is known as Allergic Conjunctivitis and it arises due to exposure of the eyes to an irritant. Any patient who has been diagnosed with Allergic Conjunctivitis is safe to be in contact with, as it not contagious.

Depending on whether it is bacterial or allergic conjunctivitis, the doctor will take samples of your eye discharge and send them to the lab to identify the allergen or the antibody needed to kill the bacteria hovering in the eyes.

Simply make sure to wash your hands often, use clean items, throw away all make-up and contact lenses used when you had a problem, and do not share pills and bedsheets with anybody.

3. Dry Eye Syndrome

Any individual who suffers to generate sufficient tears from their eyes or does not produce any tears at all is said to be a victim of Dry Eye Syndrome. Consuming toxic substances and even prescribed medicines by the doctor can lead to Dry Eye Syndrome.

Events involving natural hormonal changes due to the ignition of certain emotions can also lead to chronic dry eye. Due to these reasons, the eyes begin to develop a bloodshot red color. Some of the common symptoms indicating that you have a dry eye are – pain in the eyes, excessive or zero occurrences of tears, effort in blinking and opening your eyes, visual discomfort while operating electronic gadgets, struggling to wear contact lenses, etc.

The treatment process follows a few tests by the doctor to check your tear production rate.

If you have been diagnosed with Dry Eye Syndrome then the first-choice of medication would be an anti-inflammatory medication known as Cyclosporine.

If not the first-choice, then you can make a choice amongst the hundreds of ointments, eye drops, eye gels, etc.

4. Corneal Ulcer

We all know how susceptible the eyes are to injuries. Even the mildest of attacks on the eyes can lead to a permanent loss of vision, development of some abnormality, or bacterial infection.

Corneal ulcers are known to occur in the form of an open sore on the cornea. These sores are generally caused due to some foreign bacterial infection. Even handling your contact lenses in an unhygienic manner can lead to a situation of Corneal ulcers.

For this reason, one must regularly wash their lens cases and always remove/wear their lenses with hands that have been thoroughly washed by soap.

Alternative causes of Corneal Ulcer can include the entry of parasites, external viruses, external fungi, widespread contagious infections, abrasions, and Bell’s palsy disease.

If this medical condition is not treated at the earliest, it can lead to a major loss of vision and in most unfortunate cases even a complete loss of vision.

The best treatment options for Corneal ulcers include the administration of antifungal medicines and antibiotics too. The doctor will also prescribe you specific eye drops to reduce irritation and drastically diminish the chances of going through a cornea transplant.

Wrap Up

Red eyes, also known as bloodshot eyes, although common, can arise from any kind of medical condition or even via something as basic as dust. Rather than opting to solve the mystery of your red eye by yourself and experimenting with your vision, you must head to an ophthalmologist.

The doctor will run the required tests and according to his / her analysis – drops, creams, tablets, surgeries, injections, or other oral medications will be prescribed. Besides, if you are a victim of Sarcoidosis, Idiopathic Arthritis, Leukaemia, Blepharitis, Uveitis, or any other such fatal eye condition, then you must get it resolved as soon as possible.


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