Red eyes are a common symptom of many eye conditions that irritate the eye. Leroy W. Robinson, III, OD, Ealeen H. Kim, OD, William C. Ackerman Jr., MD, and the team at Advanced Eye Center in Gainesville, Georgia, recommend scheduling a consultation when you have red eyes. Though lifestyle and environment are common causes of red eyes, your symptom may also indicate an infection or eye condition. Call or schedule your consultation online today.

request an appointment

What are red eyes?

Red eyes describe eyes that look red and irritated. They occur when you have inflammation of the blood vessels under the eye, usually from something that’s irritating your eye.

Red eyes may affect one or both eyes and may cause other symptoms, such as itching, burning, or tearing.

In most cases, red eyes resolve on their own with at-home care. However, depending on the cause, red eyes may linger or affect your vision.

What causes red eyes?

You can develop red eyes due to allergies, injury, infection, or eye condition. Some of the conditions that cause red eyes include:

  • Dry eye
  • Blepharitis
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Contact lens eye irritation
  • Corneal abrasion
  • Glaucoma
  • Eye allergies
  • Ocular rosacea
  • Pterygium
  • Uveitis (inflammation in the middle layer of the eye)

You may also develop red eyes from lack of sleep, dry or windy weather, or spending too much time looking at the computer screen.

When should I see an ophthalmologist for red eyes?

You should see the team at Advanced Eye Center for red eyes if your symptom fails to improve after a week of at-home care or it occurs with other symptoms, such as eye pain, fever, or vision changes. You also need expert care if you have red eyes due to an abrasion or object in the eye.

The team conducts a comprehensive eye exam using modern tools when you come in with concerns about red eyes to determine the underlying cause. They review your medical history and the type of medications you take, along with your typical day.

Your provider tests your vision and examines your eyes. They may also measure the quality and quantity of your tears or check eye pressure to confirm or rule out a diagnosis.

What are the treatments for red eyes?

The team at Advanced Eye Center takes a patient-centered and evidence-based approach to eye care, customizing treatment for your red eyes based on the underlying cause. For dry eye, the team recommends staying hydrated, applying warm compresses to your eyes, and taking a high-quality omega-3 fatty acid supplement.

They may also recommend eye drops to treat the underlying cause, such as artificial tears for dry eye or an antibiotic. When appropriate, they may recommend surgery at their surgical center to treat the eye condition.

Red eyes can have many causes. To find out what’s making your eyes red and irritated, call Advanced Eye Center or schedule an appointment online today.