Do I Need to See My Eye Doctor if My Eye is Red?

Pink or red eyes are very common and can have many causes. While some causes are harmless, in some cases, these symptoms signal an underlying issue that may require medical care. 

Keep reading to learn what makes eyes red, when it’s serious, and when you may need to see your eye doctor!

What Causes Eye Redness?

Eye redness can happen for a variety of reasons and is most of the time temporary due to irritation. For example, minor eye irritation from environmental factors often leads to redness. 

Sometimes, smoke, dust, allergens, swimming in chlorinated water, lack of sleep, staring at screens too long, contact lens overuse, can cause eye redness. Eye redness can also range from slight to severe.

In some cases, the vessels in the conjunctiva, which is the thin, clear tissue covering the white part of the eye, become inflamed and dilated, making eyes appear bloodshot. More serious culprits of red eyes exist, too, like eye infections and inflammation.

What Should I Do If My Eyes Are Red?  

If irritation and redness are mild, home remedies may be able to provide some relief. You may want to try using over-the-counter lubricating eye drops like artificial tears to help restore moisture to the eyes. 

It’s also important to remove contacts and avoid wearing them until redness resolves. If redness does not resolve with lubricating eye drops or rest, it’a important to schedule an appointment with your eye doctor at Mid Ohio Eye for further evaluation.

It’s also important to visit your eye doctor if you are experiencing any additional symptoms like crusting on the eyelids, mucus discharge, or vision changes.

When Do I Need to Visit My Eye Doctor If My Eyes Are Red?

While some home remedies can alleviate minor eye redness and irritation, you should always contact your eye doctor right away if you have additional symptoms or if the redness gets progressively worse. It’s important to not take the chance that it will resolve on its own over time when it comes to your vision health.

Specifically, if you experience red, painful eyes along with any of the following, it’s important to visit your eye doctor:

  • Change in vision such as blurriness, floating spots, or sudden loss of sight
  • Light sensitivity, keeping eyes shut due to brightness discomfort
  • Severe pain, especially sharp or throbbing around the eyes
  • Excessive thick opaque discharge, often green or yellow
  • Feeling like something is stuck in your eye or a scratchy foreign body sensation

These symptoms warrant making an appointment with your eye doctor at Mid Ohio Eye right away. Neglecting acute eye problems raises your risk for more serious eye conditions and even permanent vision damage.

Caution is key if your eyes appear extremely inflamed or feel irritated. Catching worrisome issues early increases the chances of preserving your vision.

Not all red eyes require a trip to the eye doctor. Many clear up on their own with conservative self-care. But if redness persists beyond a couple days or you have other worrisome symptoms, seek prompt medical attention.

Are you experiencing worsening or persistent eye redness? Schedule an appointment at Mid Ohio Eye in Columbus, OH, today!