According to WebMD, a red eye occurs when the blood vessels on the sclera, the outer layer of the eye, become enlarged or dilated. Although red eyes are often accompanied by pain or irritation, they can also occur without any discomfort. There are various diseases and ocular conditions that can cause red eyes, and we've listed the top ten below.
Firstly, hypersensitivity can cause red eyes, as allergies to substances such as pollen, chemicals, food, and contact lens solutions can trigger an allergic reaction. Over-the-counter eye drops and antihistamines can be recommended by a doctor to alleviate allergy symptoms.
Secondly, dry eyes can cause redness and swelling due to a lack of moisture produced by tears. Over-the-counter artificial tears can be used to treat dry eyes, as recommended by an optometrist.
Thirdly, wearing contact lenses for an extended period or not caring for them properly can lead to contact lens-related eye itch and redness. Eye care professionals can provide guidance on contact lens care and replacement schedules.
Fourthly, staring at a computer screen for a prolonged time can cause eye tiredness, resulting in red eyes. It is recommended to take frequent breaks and blink more often to alleviate this.
Fifthly, conjunctivitis, or "pink eye," is a common eye infection that causes redness and inflammation of the conjunctiva, the clear membrane that covers the whites of the eyes. Conjunctivitis is highly contagious and requires a visit to an eye doctor for proper treatment.
Sixthly, an eye injury or surgery can cause red eyes due to the enlargement of blood vessels to aid in healing. In cases of severe injury, immediate medical attention is required.
Seventhly, red eyes can be a sign of the common cold, the flu, or a sinus infection. If red eyes persist for more than three days, medical attention should be sought.
Eighthly, smoking has been linked to cataracts, AMD, and other vision problems that can cause red eyes. Similarly, the THC in marijuana has been shown to dilate blood vessels in the eyes, leading to redness.
Ninthly, pregnancy hormones can exacerbate dry eyes, red eyes, and photophobia. The curvature of the cornea can also change during pregnancy, necessitating a correction in contact lenses.
Lastly, lack of restful sleep can cause red eyes and bags under the eyes.
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