As far as red-eye problems go, styes are one of those conditions that are actually fairly common, but aren’t talked about terribly often. This is because, in most cases, styes are not a severe condition, comparatively speaking. A stye is the result of a gland blockage near the eye; because of an infection due to bacteria, it becomes a big, red bump, usually on some part of the eyelid. They resemble pimples and may appear in groups. Aside from the bump itself, other symptoms of a stye include redness and swelling, which may cause a fair amount of discomfort.
As mentioned, styes are common, but not severe; for example, they do not affect the vision. Perhaps the worst thing about a stye is how unsightly it looks. It may prove tempting to try and pop it, or otherwise remove it. However, messing with the stye can make it even more uncomfortable. Furthermore, in doing so, one risks the possibility of exacerbating the infection. Since styes are basically harmless, this is simply a problem to wait out; however, if frequent styes become a problem, an antibiotic ointment may help; talk to your doctor for details regarding such treatment.
Do you wear contacts? While a nice alternative to glasses, they can certainly cause their share of eye woes. Because they cover the eyes, they may prevent moisture and oxygen from reaching the surface of the eye. Both of these can result in red eyes in response. This is much more likely to occur in situations of prolonged contact lens wearing, especially if you decide to wear them overnight. Failure to clean and disinfect contact lenses regularly can result in infections, and sometimes corneal ulcers, though generally, this is the worst thing that could happen.
Generally, practicing good hygiene can prevent these issues. Likewise, understanding the capabilities and limitations of your choice in contact lenses and behaving accordingly can ensure your eyes remain healthy. This means washing and disinfecting them according to their directions, and taking them out and putting them away before going to bed. This will give your eyes a chance to breathe and rehydrate. In the case of short-term relief, you may find solace in the form of moisturizing eye drops; some of these brands also double as contact lens solution, so they can be used in both eyes and contact cases.
Sometimes the redness that comes is not merely a result of dilated blood vessels. This is precisely the case when it comes to subconjunctival hemorrhages. It is the breaking of a blood vessel in the eye. Blood leaks from the burst vessel and gets trapped in the white of the eye, forming a red patch. Much like a stye, it can be unsightly to look at; fortunately, also like a stye, it is rarely a serious injury; if you have one, your first indication will likely be seeing it in the mirror, or being informed by someone else, not pain.
Generally, a subconjunctival hemorrhage is the result of overexertion; if you perform strenuous activities, for example, you may induce one. Of course, it goes without saying that eye trauma can cause a subconjunctival hemorrhage as well; however, whatever the case, it is not likely to affect your vision (thought eye trauma certainly might). As such, a subconjunctival hemorrhage, though it may look and sound serious, is really not that big of a deal. Consider seeing a doctor if trauma is the cause, to check for underlying damage. Otherwise, wait it out. The body will clear it in a few weeks.
When you hear about vision problems, chances are glaucoma is the topic of discussion. However, glaucoma is not a single entity. It refers to some diseases that cause damage to the optic nerve. Given that the optic nerve is what allows the eye and the brain to communicate, this damage can result in vision loss. Often, glaucoma has its roots in fluid buildup. This excess fluid applies too much pressure to the eye, leading to damage. Eye redness is one potential indicator of glaucoma, though other symptoms that must be considered include blurring of vision and eye pain.
In general, regular eye exams are a good idea. However, if you have these symptoms, or light sources seem to have halos around them, it’s critical that you see a doctor for an eye exam. While eye redness may be a common problem with less serious causes, glaucoma tends to develop slowly over time, and if not managed early on, treatment options, as well as vision diminish significantly. Also, consider co-occurring symptoms such as headaches and nausea; in these cases, seek medical attention immediately. Medication can help slow down glaucoma’s progression, preserving the patient’s vision for as long as possible.Related: 10 Devious Effects of High Blood Sugar
While red eyes can result from several conditions, some of them are far more serious than others. Take care to avoid irritating the eye further, and make use of eyedrops and cold compresses– these will provide some relief, and hopefully cause any redness and swelling to subside. It’s in your best interest to consider other symptoms along with your red eyes to rule out potential causes. If all else fails, then you should definitely speak to a doctor- especially if there is pain involved, as pain is a universal sign that something is seriously wrong.