13 Reasons Why My Eyes Are Always Red

Ever had bloodshot eyes? No, we don’t mean the ones you get when you’re angry. We’re talking about real red eyes that indicate health problems. 

While some of the reasons are ultimately harmless, others require immediate medical attention. 

In today’s post, we’ll be talking about 13 reasons why your eyes are red. Could it be due to dry eyes, eye strain, or contact lenses? What about corneal ulcers? We’ll be talking about all of these and more.


1. Dry Eye 

Dry eyes are one of the most common reasons behind red eyes. This includes issues such as eye strain and blepharitis. Dry eyes usually happen if there are not enough tears in your eyes to help with the lubrication. There are many reasons why you may not be producing enough tears. If you have autoimmune diseases such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, or if you’re using medications such as antidepressants and birth control, your eyes may dry up. Age-related issues may also be a cause. Dry eyes usually feel very uncomfortable. If you have them, your eyes may sting or burn. You experience dry eyes in certain situations, such as on an airplane, in an air-conditioned room, or while riding a bike. You also get them after looking at a computer screen for a few hours. The redness caused by dry eyes usually goes away after you get treatment. Treatments include lifestyle changes and eye drops. 

2. Contact Lenses 

When you use contact lenses on a regular basis, it may cause irritation and dry eyes. As a result, you can end up with redness. This is especially true in cases of long-term contacts rather than the ones you throw out each day. If you wear your contact lens for too long, it can also cause dryness. This is why you shouldn’t fall asleep with them in. It would be best to shift to daily disposables, as long-term contacts can also catch dirt and cause irritation in your eyes. Make sure you wash your lenses with a solution provided by your optometrist. Wash them each time you wear them. This will reduce your chances of getting infection, and will also remove any dust sticking to them. 

3. Uveitis 

The layer between your cornea and iris is called the uvea. When the uvea gets inflamed, the condition is known as uveitis. The reason for the inflammation could be anything from an infection, to diseases such as Crohn's or lupus. If you feel a sensitivity to light, that could be another symptom of uveitis. However, this condition cannot be determined by simply looking at your eyes. A doctor will have to take a look through a microscope. If you keep suffering from uveitis, you will need to get some blood work done to see if there’s any underlying condition causing the problems. 

4. Acute Angle-Closure Glaucoma 

Acute angle-closure glaucoma is a rare disease and happens when your eye pressure goes up dramatically. This happens when the angle of your iris becomes narrow and the drainage area present between the back and front of the eye gets clogged by it. When this happens, you will feel symptoms such as pain and nausea. You might even suffer from vomiting. There are medications available to relieve the pressure, but they need to be taken as soon as possible if you want to avoid damage to your eyes. 

5. Keratitis

The cornea is the outermost layer of your eye. When this part becomes inflamed, it’s referred to as keratitis. There are various reasons why you might suffer from keratitis. Wearing contact lenses for too long, or sleeping while still having them on can cause this issue. Similarly, if you have dry eyes for any reason, it can cause keratitis. You can also get keratitis due to infection. When you have keratitis, you will face a lot of discomfort and pain. You won’t be able to see properly, as you will have blurry vision. This is another condition you cannot diagnose on your own, so you will need the help of an ophthalmologist. 

6. Broken Blood Vessels 

When there’s too much pressure built up in your eyes, it can cause the blood vessels to break and end up causing redness. This can happen when your eyes are straining during constipation. It can also happen when you’re doing some heavy lifting, and putting a lot of strength into it. When you sneeze powerfully, the intensity can cause the blood vessels in your eyes to break. The same thing can happen if you’re coughing intensely. You can tell the cause is broken blood vessels by how dark the redness is. With inflammation, the redness in your eye is more of a pinkish color. With a broken blood vessel, it will be dark red. Before we move ahead, here’s another video you might like. Watch and learn more about the body changes that need your immediate attention... 

7. Blepharitis 

Your eyes have oil glands inside them, which can get clogged. When that happens, you will suffer inflammation which leads to blepharitis. The clogging could be because of a buildup in bacteria. Sometimes, the bacteria that are on your eyelids can fall into your eyes, causing redness related to blepharitis. The clogging of the oil glands could also be due to infections and allergies. 

8. Allergies 

If you have allergies related to pollen and dust, exposure to these elements can cause your immune system to release chemicals known as histamines. The release of histamines can have an impact on your blood vessels, which cause the redness in your eyes. The best way to figure out if it’s allergies causing the redness is to look for other symptoms such as sneezing and congestion in your nasal area. 

9. Pink Eye 

When you have pink eyes, it causes inflammation in the blood vessels, leading to redness. You can get pink eyes from infections caused by bacteria or exposure to viruses. When this happens, greenish discharge can come out of your eyes. The degree of redness due to pink eyes can vary from mild redness to dark red. You could get it in one eye or both. Usually, the entire whites of your eyes get affected, but this can be different based on the severity of the infection. 

10. Sclerites 

When the white part of your eye, known as sclera, becomes inflamed, it’s known as Scleritis. If you suffer from this condition, your eye will be in a lot of pain. It will also feel very tender when you touch it. Sclerites is common among people suffering from autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. 

11. Episcleritis 

The episcleral tissue is the part of the eye below the clear mucus membrane. When this tissue gets inflamed, you will suffer from a condition called episcleritis. When you have episcleritis, you will also have other symptoms such as soreness and discomfort. However, you will not be able to figure out if the redness in your eye is caused by Episcleritis, or other issues such as uveitis or scleritis. For that, you will need the help of an ophthalmologist. 

12. Digital Eye Strain 

If you tend to stare at screens for long hours, you could be giving yourself a digital eye strain. As a result, the eyes can become red from all the discomfort. The reason for the redness is because your eyes have to work so much harder when trying to read text on a screen compared to reading from a paper. Also, screens tend to have a bright backlight, which means your eyes have to focus more. Another reason for the redness is because you blink a lot less when you’re staring at a screen. As a result, you end up with dry eyes and redness. 

13. Irritants 

It might come as a surprise to you, but there are unsuspecting irritants in the environment that can cause you to have red eyes. Irritants like dust, sun exposure, and dry air can cause your eye vessels to become inflamed. Even bacterial or viral infections like measles, cold, and allergies can give you red eyes. If you’re coughing a lot, you can end up with eye strain that causes redness. In fact, eye strain or coughing can cause a specific condition known as subconjunctival hemorrhage. 

Scary name, right? Well, it may look serious, but it’s not painful. When this condition occurs, a broken blood vessel may appear in one eye. It typically clears up in 7 to 10 days. You’re more likely to get this red eye condition if you’re taking blood thinners, or suffer from diabetes and hypertension. 

Have you suffered from red eyes? Let us know in the comments below! 

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