Silicon Valley Eye Physicians

The Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options for Eye Redness

Eye Redness In Sunnyvale, CA

Our Sunnyvale , optometrists want you to know that eye redness is a relatively common occurrence that can have several causes. Understanding the underlying cause if the first and most important step in making sure you get the right treatment. Some causes of red eyes can be relatively harmless, while others can indicate a more serious problem which, without proper treatment, can wind up damaging your eye and your vision.

A blonde woman wearing eyeglasses.

What Causes Eye Redness?

Eye redness occurs because the tiny blood vessels in your eyes become irritated, inflamed or swollen. As the vessels become swollen, they may cause the eye to appear bloodshot with prominent red veins radiating across the surface of the eye, or they may cause a more “pinkish” appearance that affects all or just a part of the white portion of the eye, called the sclera. Some of the most common causes of red eyes include:

  • eye strain, often when using computers or doing prolonged periods of close-up work
  • exposure to dry air
  • dry eye syndrome
  • allergies
  • sun exposure
  • colds and other illnesses
  • bacterial or viral infections
  • strenuous coughing
  • glaucoma
  • trauma to the eye or head
  • corneal scratches
  • problems with contact lenses
  • bleeding disorders

Sometimes, a small area or splotch of blood will appear just beneath the surface of the eye. Although this can look very serious, it's often caused by benign (harmless) problems (like severe coughing) and will resolve within a few days. Any type of eye redness that's accompanied by pain is an indication that a more serious problem is occurring, like an infection or other internal injury, and immediate care should be sought to avoid permanent damage to the eye or to your vision.

What Are The Symptoms of Eye Infection?

Most eye infections cause some degree of pain or, in their earlier stages, symptoms like itching or scratchiness. You may also have excessive tearing or a stringy discharge from your eye as well as blurry vision or other vision changes, including extreme sensitivity to light. Eye infections can be extremely serious and can spread quickly throughout the eye to cause permanent damage and vision loss. Some eye infections may also be accompanied by ulcers or sores on the eye or the lid and lash line.

How is Eye Redness Treated?

Treatments for red eye depend on the underlying cause of the symptoms. The first step in ensuring you get the best care is to have your eye examined to determine the cause. Some possible treatment options include:

  • application of warm compresses
  • special medicated eye drops
  • artificial tears
  • oral medications to treat infections or other conditions like glaucoma
  • special bandages to protect the eye while it heals

When Should I Call Silicon Valley Eye Physicians?

Although eye redness is usually caused by relatively harmless issues, it should never be ignored. When symptoms are accompanied by pain, discharge or changes in vision, or when they last for more than two days, you should call the office immediately to schedule an appointment. If eye redness develops after an injury or if you wear contact lenses, you should also call the office immediately.

Silicon Valley Eye Physicians

our team

Silicon Valley Eye Physicians is a leading vision care provider that has been serving the community for over 60 years. Our doctors are members of prestigious organizations, including: 

  •  The American Academy of Ophthalmology
  • The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology
  • The Cornea Society
  • The California Optometric Association

We are happy to conduct examinations and make diagnoses over the phone using our telemedicine service. To schedule in-person exams for your entire family, call our Sunnyvale office at (408) 739-6200 or request an appointment online.

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Sunnyvale Office

1010 W. Fremont Ave
Sunnyvale, CA 94087

Open Today 8:00am - 2:00pm

More Info Directions (408) 739-6200