This Is What Really Causes Red Eyes

You've probably woken up with red or bloodshot eyes at some point in your life. While this can look alarming, there are many reasons the whites of your eyes may have changed color. Some issues may be serious but most can be easily treated. According to All About Vision, red eyes are caused by blood vessels dilating in the eye after becoming swollen due to environmental or health problems. The most common causes of red eyes include allergies, eye infections, or wearing contact lenses for too long.

If you are allergic to environmental factors like pollen, pet dander, dust, or mold, those irritants can get into your eyes and cause redness (via WebMD). Other symptoms of allergies include your eyes burning, itching, or tearing up. These symptoms may be accompanied by sneezing and a runny nose. Fatigued or dry eyes can also cause redness. Eyes are particularly prone to tiredness and dryness when you stare at an electronic screen all day. This can cause strain and less blinking than normal, making your eye dry out. However, dry eye can come on as a health condition of its own sometimes. Saline eye drops can help relieve these symptoms.

Red eyes may be caused by an underlying health issue

Sometimes red eyes mean you should pay a visit to the doctor. According to Cleveland Clinic, one of the most common eye infections is conjunctivitis, or pink eye. This health issue is a contagious infection that targets the conjunctiva, which is the membrane that covers a good portion of the front of the eye. When this membrane is infected, the blood vessels in the eye become swollen and give the eye its signature pink color. Pink eye is often accompanied by discharge and excess tears. Conjunctivitis can be viral or bacterial.

Red eyes can also be caused by injuries, excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, and fatigue. If you experience red eyes that do not correct themselves within a day or two, it's best to visit your doctor. They will help you determine the cause of the redness and the best treatment plan moving forward, whether you have pink eye or eye fatigue.