Eyesight is one of the imperative senses along with touch, hearing, smell and taste. However, understanding how the eyes can become red and irritated due to a variety of reasons is vital.
If you have recently experienced eyesight discomfort and are unsure what the contributing factors could be, we have a few answers.
This one may be a surprise to most given that eye drops are marketed as a reliever for eye irritation. However, the truth is that frequent use of eye drops causes more irritation to the eyes and make them appear redder. This is because the drops can cause a rebound dilation of the eyes’ blood vessels, resulting in a bloodshot appearance. To prevent any discomfort, first consult an optometrist to identify the cause of the red eyes before using eye drops. And if you must use eye drops, do so in moderation, while consulting with your eye doctor.
Smoking is not only harmful to one’s health, it also releases a variety of toxic chemicals such as ammonia, formaldehyde and hydrogen sulphide. Such chemicals irritate the sensitive membranes of the eyes, resulting in inflammation and bloodshot eyes. Lighting up a cigarette also increases the risk of cataracts; the cloudiness that appears in the lens of an eye.
Allergies can cause the eyes to become red, irritated and bloodshot, resulting in an itching and burning sensation. The eyes become red after the blood vessels in the front part of the eye are dilated and appear larger. The fluid then accumulates, causing swelling. To reduce this, over the counter allergy medication will soothe the irritation or speak to your doctor about recommendations.
Wearing contact lenses can also cause eye redness in some people while others’ eyes become irritated just by having them in for a second. So what do you do now? Well, if you experience discomfort while you are wearing contact lenses, then the first solution would be to try re-wetting the lense using drops. These eye drops are made for contact lenses and offer relief for dry eyes and the discomfort that you feel when wearing contacts.
Sleep is vital for the body to function, and when you don’t get enough of it, your eyes will show it. Not getting enough sleep increases the retention of fluid and blood around the eyes, causing them to become red and puffy. Losing sleep can also result in dry eyes. Since eyes require a constant supply of tears to function, blinking is essential to ensure they are hydrated. Remaining awake and not closing your eyes for a long night prevents the eyes from receiving fluid circulation and being clean.
About Dr. Sachin Bawa
Sachin Bawa is a founder of Dr. Sachin Bawa Cataract and Vision Clinic. He is a qualified ophthalmic surgeon for more than 9 years. He holds a medical degree from the University of Witswatersrand which he completed in 2004.