5 Serious Causes of Red Eyes

Red eyes can be a disturbing symptom, often signaling an underlying problem that needs immediate attention. Whether it's a change in your vision, irritation, or discomfort, red eyes can be more than just an inconvenience. They can be an indication that something more serious is going on. Understanding the cause of your red eyes is crucial to determining the appropriate course of treatment.


What Causes of Red Eyes?



The five causes of red eyes include:
  1. Glaucoma: A condition that damages your eye's optic nerve, often resulting from high pressure in your eye.

  2. Uveitis: Inflammation of the uvea, the middle layer of your eye. It can cause redness, pain, and blurred vision.

  3. Keratitis: Inflammation of the cornea, the clear, domed surface of your eye. It can cause red eyes, pain, and even vision loss if not treated promptly.

  4. Scleritis: A serious inflammatory disease that affects the white outer coating of your eye, causing severe pain and redness.

  5. Subconjunctival hemorrhage: Bleeding underneath the conjunctiva, the clear surface of your eye. Although it can cause your eye to appear very red, it's usually harmless and resolves on its own without treatment.


When to Seek Professional Help for Red Eyes


Although red eyes can sometimes be harmless and temporary, there are instances when you should seek professional help. If your red eyes are accompanied by severe pain, sudden vision changes, light sensitivity, or if the redness doesn't improve after a few days, it's essential to consult an eye care professional immediately.

These could be signs of serious conditions such as glaucoma, uveitis, keratitis, or scleritis, which require prompt treatment to prevent permanent vision loss. Additionally, if you experience repeated episodes of subconjunctival hemorrhage, it's crucial to seek medical attention to rule out underlying conditions like hypertension or blood clotting disorders.


Treatment Options


The treatment for red eyes will depend entirely on the underlying cause. For conditions like glaucoma, medications, laser treatment, or surgery may be necessary to reduce the pressure in the eye and prevent further optic nerve damage. 

Uveitis might require anti-inflammatory medications, antibiotics, or corticosteroids to reduce inflammation and pain.

Keratitis can be treated with antibiotic or antifungal eye drops, while scleritis often requires systemic or topical corticosteroids. 

In the case of a subconjunctival hemorrhage, treatment usually isn't necessary, but it's still essential to have it checked by a professional to rule out more serious issues.


Prevention Tips for Red Eyes


While you can't prevent all causes of red eyes, certain steps can reduce your risk. These include maintaining good eye hygiene, wearing protective eyewear when necessary, avoiding touching your eyes with dirty hands, and managing underlying conditions like allergies or dry eyes.

Regular eye exams play a crucial role in detecting the causes of red eyes early on. Many of the conditions that cause red eyes, such as glaucoma and keratitis, can progress without noticeable symptoms until they've caused significant damage. Through regular eye exams, these conditions can be caught and treated early, potentially saving your vision.


Taking Charge of Your Eye Health


Red eyes can be more than just a minor annoyance. They can be a sign of serious conditions that require immediate attention. By understanding the five serious causes of red eyes, their associated symptoms, and knowing when to seek professional help, you can take charge of your eye health.

For more information on the causes and treatment options for red eyes, visit Lakhani Vision Care in our Marietta, Georgia office. Please call 770-509-9932 to schedule an appointment today.

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