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6+ Causes of Red Eyes


6+ Causes of Red Eyes

Windowofworld.com – Red eye occurs when fine blood vessels in the surface of the eye dilate due to irritation, inflammation, infection, injury, or increased eye pressure. Red eye is generally harmless. However, there are also red eyes that require immediate treatment to avoid damage to vision.

Eyeballs have fine blood vessels that function to deliver oxygen and nutrients to eye cells. When these smooth blood vessels dilate due to irritation or inflammation, the eyes will look red. In addition, injury to the eye can also cause these delicate blood vessels to burst, resulting in bleeding and redness of the eyes.

The cause of red eye can be determined by observing how long the complaint of red eye lasts, whether red eye occurs in one or both eyes, the presence or absence of pain in the red eye, and the presence or absence of vision problems.

Causes of Red-Eye Side

If only one of the eyeballs appears red, this is called a case of unilateral red eye. This condition can be caused by several things, such as:

1. Entry of foreign objects into the eye

Foreign objects, such as dust, sand or iron debris, can get into your eyes from wind, explosion or accidents. Symptoms of entry of foreign matter into the eye can be red eye, pain in the eyes, and watery eyes.

If this foreign body attaches or sticks to the surface of the eyeball, damage to the cornea can occur which can interfere with vision.


2. Acute glaucoma

Glaucoma generally results from a slow increase in eye pressure over a long period of time. However, in some of the more rare cases, this increased eyeball pressure can appear suddenly due to a blockage in the front chamber of the eyeball.

This condition is called acute glaucoma and causes symptoms such as red eye, eye pain, severe headaches, nausea, vomiting and decreased vision. Acute glaucoma is an emergency condition that needs to be treated by a doctor immediately.

3. Conjunctivitis and keratitis due to bacterial infection

The conjunctiva is a clear membrane that protects the white part of the eye (sclera) and the inside of the eyelid. When there is conjunctivitis, which is inflammation of the conjunctiva, the surrounding blood vessels will dilate and cause the eyes to turn red.

One cause of conjunctivitis is infection. In conjunctivitis due to bacterial infection, in addition to red eyes, symptoms can also occur in the form of discharge of a sticky yellow or green liquid in the eye.

Keratitis is inflammation of the cornea that often occurs with conjunctivitis. Keratitis can also be accompanied by more serious conditions, namely erosion or injury to the cornea, which requires immediate treatment by a doctor.

4. Subconjunctival bleeding

Fine blood vessels in the conjunctival membrane or in the sclera can rupture and cause blood to gather in the space between the two layers. This condition is referred to as subconjunctival bleeding and usually occurs in people who are taking anticoagulant drugs, people with hypertension, and people who often cough.

Subconjunctival bleeding may look serious because the eyes look very red. However, this condition is actually not dangerous. The bleeding will be absorbed by the eye slowly within 2-4 weeks.

5. Inflammation of the sclera, uvea, or iris

Sclera is the outer layer of the eye that is white. Inside the sclera are uvea and iris. Each of these layers can become inflamed due to various reasons, including autoimmune diseases, injuries, viral infections, and bacterial infections. Inflammation of these layers can also cause red eyes.

6. Eyelid malposition

Abnormalities in the position of the eyelids can cause disturbances on the surface of the eyeball. In a case called entropion, the eyelids fold inward, so that the eyelashes grow toward the eyeball and scratch the cornea. This condition can cause inflammation or injury to the cornea.

Conversely, in a case called ectropion, the eyelid is folded outwards, so the tears cannot completely wet the surface of the eyeball and the eyes become dry. This causes irritation to the eye which causes red eyes.

Causes of Red Eye in Both Eyes

If red eye occurs in both eyes, this condition is referred to as bilateral red eye. Generally, bilateral red eye is caused by:

1. Conjunctivitis due to viral infection

Viruses can cause inflammation of the conjunctiva (conjunctivitis) and cause symptoms in the form of red eyes, feel like sand, and become sensitive to light. In conjunctivitis due to a viral infection, the eye will release a thin, clear fluid. This is different from conjunctivitis due to bacterial infection, where the discharge that comes out is yellow or green and thick.

Conjunctivitis due to a viral infection is generally harmless and will go away on its own within 1-2 weeks. However, this eye infection is very contagious.

2. Conjunctivitis due to allergies

In people who have an allergy to dust, smoke, perfume, or pollen, exposure to these allergen triggers the eye can cause conjunctival inflammation (conjunctivitis).

Symptoms that appear in allergic conjunctivitis are red, watery, and itchy eyes, and swelling of the eyelids. This symptom generally occurs in both eyes. The main way to relieve and prevent allergic conjunctivitis is to avoid exposure to the triggers.

The causes of red eyes are various. There are those that are emergency and require immediate treatment, there are also those that do not need to be treated and can heal on their own.

If your red eyes do not heal after more than 1 week or are accompanied by pain in the eye, visual disturbances, or a discharge of yellow or green liquid from the eye, consult your ophthalmologist immediately.

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