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Bloodshot Eyes - Know The Reasons Behind Them!

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Rajesh Shah 87% (13 ratings)
Ophthalmologist, Ahmedabad  •  16 years experience
Bloodshot Eyes - Know The Reasons Behind Them!

The term red eye, medically referring to subconjunctival hemorrhage, means different things to different people. For people who travel a lot, it is likely to mean a flight on which sleep is impossible and thus, resulting in them having red eyes. But what can the other causes of red eyes be?

Believe it or not, there can be up to 35 possible reasons for it! Also, it is not really true that all these reasons are related to each other. The causes may range from allergies to cluster headaches to an eyelid which has turned inward or even glaucoma, which has led to a poor flow of blood to the eyes.

Common causes of a red eye
The conditions which lead to red eyes can affect a person at various stages of life. So, this provides everyone with a need to know and be aware of what can cause trouble when it comes to one’s eyes. The severity of the causes can vary quite widely. For instance, a minor worry such as a dry eye syndrome (which does not cause a permanent loss of vision in almost all cases) or common eye infections such as conjunctivitis have also immense potential to result in red eyes. In fact, this is known to be a medical emergency and a patient should be rushed to a doctor!

  • Sometimes a regular cold and flu leads to sinus infection, which eventually causes red eyes.
  • When it comes to the allergic causes of red eyes, some people do react negatively to certain drugs such as penicillin and codeine, which in turn might result in red eyes. In a case like this, it is important to call the doctor and ask not only what is to be done, but also what alternatives to be used.
  • We would not be able to see if it were not for the cornea, which allows light to enter our eyes. Sometimes, there are ulcers which form on it. This mostly happens due to an infection, possibly as a result of wearing one’s contact lenses for too long at a stretch or due to an injury.
  • Viral infections are also a possibility. Treatment requires the timely use of eye drops and some medicines. One of the more common causes today is often referred to as the computer vision syndrome, where a person stares at a computer screen for long and uninterrupted hours.
  • Something which has gained notoriety recently is Ebola, which is another cause. While it is rare, it is fatal, in most cases. So, quite expectedly, it is an emergency and red eyes are a symptom, which should help early detection.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

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