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What Causes Bloodshot Eyes and Red Eyes?

Updated on January 13, 2019
Bloodshot eyes can be caused by dryness and environmental factors.
Bloodshot eyes can be caused by dryness and environmental factors. | Source

3 Causes of Bloodshot Eyes and Red Eyes

There are three common reasons for getting bloodshot eyes.

The problem can result from common factors, such as an inadequate environment, daily work habits, infections, or other physiological conditions.

After reading this article, you should have a better idea of what causes bloodshot eyes and some methods for alleviating the problem.


1. Environmental Factors

Let’s start with the first two causes since they are easier to prevent and manage with proper awareness. Your environment or daily work habits could be the reason for your red eyes.

Consider your surrounding environment where you spend most of your day. Ask yourself some basic questions about your room and office.

  • Is the air typically dry or dusty?
  • Are you surrounded by smoke or dirty air in your workplace?

Toxins in the air can irritate our eyes and cause redness to occur. If you believe this could be the cause, try cleaning up the work area or avoiding it altogether if possible.

Otherwise, if you must be present and it is difficult to change work locations, wear safety glasses or some other form of eye protection. Try to take breaks and go outside for some fresh air if your boss gives you permission.

The same holds true for particularly dry environments, especially during the winter months. Dryness is probably the number one cause of bloodshot eyes for most people. Eyes require adequate moisture to function properly and to maintain a healthy state.

What can you do to help?

  • Use a humidifier in the room to relieve the redness.
  • Try applying eye drops to keep your eyes moist.

Also, remember to never use expired eye drops or it could make your condition worse. Remember to check the expiry date on the bottle. Consult with your doctor or pharmacist about the best drops for your specific situation.

Try eye drops to sooth bloodshot eyes.
Try eye drops to sooth bloodshot eyes.

2. Bad Work Habits

Another guilty culprit for what causes bloodshot eyes is your daily work habits.

  • Do you work in front of a computer monitor all day?
  • Do you frequently have a burning sensation in your eyes?

If so, you could have computer vision syndrome. When looking at a computer monitor for extended periods, we tend to blink less. This causes our eyes to become dry and bloodshot. Staring at a nearby screen for longer than an hour is much too long and you should give your eyes a rest.

How can you improve your work habits?

Take Frequent Breaks

To relieve the redness, take frequent breaks and avoid looking at the monitor for 20 minutes. It is important to give your eyes the rest they need so that they can re-hydrate naturally.

Some people find that it helps to set a timer to remind themselves to take a break from the computer screen. This can be a simple but highly effective remedy to the problem.

Avoid Touching Your Eyes

In addition, many people have a bad habit of rubbing their eyes. You may not be conscious of it, but you would be surprised how often you do it throughout a day.

If your hands are particularly dirty, then your eyes could be in trouble.

To help solve the problem, wash your hands often and avoid rubbing them if you can resist the temptation. You will drastically cut down on colds, prevent red eyes and possibly other infections too.

Use a humidifier to relieve red eyes.
Use a humidifier to relieve red eyes.

3. Serious Eye Conditions

On a more serious note, some red eye problems are caused by infections.

When your eyes are extremely red, you should take the necessary precautions and consult your doctor to diagnose any threatening problems. Glaucoma, corneal ulcers, and other urgent conditions should be treated immediately upon diagnosis.

If you notice any pain, blurred vision or swelling of your eyes, consult a physician as soon as possible.

There are other explanations for what causes bloodshot eyes, but it is important to be aware of the most common factors before panicking. The easiest remedy can sometimes be as simple as getting more sleep. However, when in doubt, it’s best to see an eye specialist.

What are other causes of bloodshot eyes?

For more information about red eyes and eye remedies, visit the suggested sites below. They both offer helpful advice from relevant sources.

Healthline: Why Eye Redness Happens and How to Treat It

Medical News Today: How to Get Rid of Red Eyes


VIDEO: Understand What Causes Bloodshot Eyes (Doctor Advice)

Poll: Computer Usage and Red Eyes

How often do you get red eyes when using a computer?

See results

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    • Hackslap profile image

      Harry 

      5 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Interesting read :)

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