Optometrists & Aesthetic Specialists serving Grandville, Hudsonville and Jenison, MI

When you have red, irritated eyes, it may be that your eyes are strained or tired, or may be a sign of a serious eye condition. Allen Smith, OD, and Nicole Gdowski, OD, of Lifetime Eyecare, located in Jenison, Michigan, have extensive experience in diagnosing and treating both the simple and complex causes of red eyes. For an expert evaluation and treatment plan, call or request an appointment online.

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What are red eyes?

Red or bloodshot eyes are a sign that there is irritation to the sclera, or white area, of your eye. Reddened eyes are due to swollen blood vessels on the surface of the sclera.

Redness may be a matter of mild irritation or be a sign of a serious eye condition. An eye exam is essential to determine the underlying cause of your red eyes. Eye redness may involve one or both eyes, may appear pink or dark red or may be generalized or localized to one area of the sclera.

What are symptoms of red eyes?

Other symptoms you may have, along with eye irritation and redness, include:

  • Itching
  • Eye drainage
  • Burning
  • Dryness
  • Watery eyes
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Pain

Most often, your eye redness is nothing to be concerned about and will resolve on its own. However, it is important that you see a doctor in order to ensure your redness is not an indication of a serious problem.

When should you see a doctor about red eyes?

It is important to see Dr. Smith or Dr. Gdowski about your bloodshot eyes if you:

  • Have redness more than a couple of days
  • Are taking blood thinners, like warfarin
  • Have vision changes or eye pain
  • Sustain an injury to the eye
  • Have yellow or green drainage

Your eye doctor can determine the underlying cause of your eye redness, and make a treatment plan that is appropriate for you.

What causes red eyes?

There are many possible causes for red eyes. Some require immediate treatment, while others will resolve on their own.

The most common causes of eye redness include:

  • Eye dryness
  • Dust or other allergens in the eye
  • Seasonal allergies
  • Pink eye, or conjunctivitis
  • Prolonged or uncomfortable contact lens use
  • Eye strain, such as with prolonged electronic device use

More serious causes for red eyes include:

  • Infection
  • Eye injury or trauma
  • Recent eye surgery
  • Corneal ulcer

Dr. Smith and Dr. Gdowski are experienced at diagnosis and proper treatment of your eye redness. Your treatment plan depends on the underlying cause of your eye redness but may include oral medications, eye drops, and eye rest.

For an eye exam to determine the cause of your red eyes, call (616) 457-0760 or request an appointment at Lifetime Eyecare.