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Red Eyes Causes, Cures, Eye Drops and Home Remedies

What is a red eye? How can I heal then including the watery ones  What are the causes them? Are there means I can use to get rid of this redness? In this discussion, apart from focussing on causes, we shall delve into symptoms, what to do for they are itchy, how to treat this problem as well as preventive measures.


The red-eye concept is not confined to a single definition because there are various causes of this redness.

1. Allergic conjunctivitis

One of the most common causes is allergic conjunctivitis. What really causes it is the entry of foreign substances (allergens) into your eyes leads to irritation. As a result, the conjunctiva is stimulated to release histamine (a chemical substance) to help fight off the unwanted foreign substance. Victims commonly have burning red eyes that itch and sometimes are watery.

Some of the allergens are pollen from grass, trees and some plants; molds, strong perfumes, animal skin, smoke and certain eye drops.

2. Bacterial conjunctivitis infection – Acute form

Red Eyes from infections
From infections

Secondly, as opposed to allergic conjunctivitis, bacterial conjunctivitis is brought about by bacterial invasion of the conjunctiva. These bacteria get their way to the body via the sinus or the ear.

During the onset of acute bacterial conjunctivitis, bacteria such as Streptococcus pneumonia and Pseudomonas aeruginosa cause swelling of the eyelid, and pus-like discharge of thicker, yellow-green small discharges released from one or both eyes but may transfer to the other.

3. Chronic Chlamydial conjunctivitis

Now, chlamydial conjunctivitis is mainly caused by the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis. This bacterial conjunctivitis normally affects new-born babies who are exposed to the chlamydia bacteria during natural birth. Common symptoms of new-borns include may be eye redness, swollen eyelids and watery discharge in the first week after birth. How are the bacteria spread? Chlamydia trachomatis is spread through the following means:

  1. Sharing with an infected patient (make-ups, washcloths – handkerchiefs, towels, e.t.c.)
  2. Sexual contact with someone who is infected with trachoma,
  3. Touching them with hands after attending to an infected person

Both are contagious especially in the US and is prevalent among people who are less than 25. It may be necessary to go for a diagnosis of gonorrhea, trachoma, syphilis and other STIs testing.

4.Dryness and dry eye syndrome

How do dry eyes cause redness? Under certain conditions tear glands may produce little tears and when this occurs the eyeball is not sufficiently lubricated. This leads to inflammation and irritation of the conjunctiva because eyelids cannot open and close normally in absence of tear film. Very painful ones is also a usual sign. A few conditions and factors are known to result in this syndrome:

5. Hormonal changes in Menopause

Hormones stimulate tear production. However, during the menopause or pregnancy period there occurs hormonal changes that render women susceptible to dry eye syndrome.

6. Ageing

As you grow older eyelids become droopy and less effective. This proves why there are many common dry eye syndrome cases in aged people than young. Old age contributes to ectropion is a condition where the eyelids turn outward leaving them exposed. Dryness results as more evaporation occur.

7. Environmental Factors

A combination of environmental factors (hot blowing air during sunny and windy weather) dry climate and other factors such as high altitude have an influence on drying.

8. Certain Laser eye surgery and Medications

After certain types of laser eye surgery e.g. LRS – Laser Refractive Surgery and Laser-assisted in situ keratomileuses (LASIK) some patients start to show symptoms of dry eye syndrome. Treatments involving antihistamines, beta-blockers, and oral contraceptives may result in reduced tear production.

At critical stages, chronic dryness develops and is inflamed, to the extent that irritation is so high that you see dry red eyes. This condition is also contributed by overusing contact lenses where normal tear flow is interfered with. Overusing contact lenses also restricts the amount of oxygen supplied to the cornea.

9.Injury – Surgery, Abrasion and Chemical Burns

A number of actions may lead to injury.

Corneal Abrasion

One is to do with a corneal abrasion. You find that minor scratches rub off layers of the cornea, (the transparent cover). These injuries are commonly caused by someone poking by finger, walking into a tree branch with sharp twigs, careless removal of soft lenses and use of old contact lenses. The signs and symptoms of corneal abrasion include:

  • acute pain in the eye,
  • being uncomfortable in bright lights,
  • a foreign-body sensation,
  • too much squinting,
  • production of tears,

Corneal abrasions may result in trauma and dryness if it is not attended to in good time. Treatments such as topical antibiotics and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) are recommended.

Chemical Burns

The second cause is chemical burns.  It could either be an acid or alkali. Alkalis are typically worse than acidic burns because they lead to an elevated pH. A mild acid burn will cause eye conjunctivitis. During diagnosis, a litmus paper is useful at verifying a pH that is within the normal range of 7.0 – 7.2.

Local anesthetic eye drops can be used to relieve pain or an irrigation treatment with Ringer’s lactate or saline solution will be given which aims at reducing the pH. People who suffer chemical burns should desist from touching their eyes as further inflammation is likely to occur.

Cosmetic Eyelid Surgery

Another cause of injury is when cosmetic eyelid surgery is operated to treat an infection cause this problem. How about the redness? Blood capillaries relax and dilate to allow more oxygen to reach the target point in the eyelid. In response, there is an inflammation. This surgery is also known as Blepharoplasty that involves removal of droopy upper or lower eyelids can bring about dryness.

10. Blocked tear duct

What causes watery eyes in toddlers and many infants after birth is blocked tear ducts. The occurrence of this condition could be attributed to nature of tear ducts to fail to develop well, or due to an abnormal growth of nasal bone. These structures (tear ducts) help in regulating, directing secreted tears and channeling out efficiently.

The aged and older people whose eyelids have started to sag tear more often. Why it? They no longer can hold back tears from flowing. Otherwise, you are urgently required to seek help from a professional if you start to experience the following symptoms:

  • Blurred and poor vision
  • Pain 
  • Feeling presence of foreign material 

Other Causes

Other causes include:

1. Blepharitis

Simply refers to inflammation of the whole or eyelids as a result of bacteria. How can it bring about irritation and cause redness? The region near the eyelashes has oil secretion glands. Certain conditions force the glands to get clogged. Due to this fact, they close and open with difficulty.

Bacterial Blepharitis – Anterior & posterior Blepharitis

Bacterial blepharitis is caused by Staphylococcal aureus bacteria which affects the anterior/posterior part of the eyelid. Symptoms include burning a foreign body sensation, eyelashes may also get removed.

Apart from the very common symptoms namely – watery, swollen, and red eyes and eyelids, other signs on eyelids are:

  • Itching
  • Formation of crusts  – evident in the morning after sleep,
  • Greasy

in addition, you may end up with symptoms such as

  • Blinking too often,
  • Light sensitivity,
  • Irregular/abnormal growth of eyelashes,
  • Broken or eyelash loss.

Blepharitis may be complicated the redness is due to anterior blepharitis and  is linked to Demodex (microscopic harmless mites). Posterior blepharitis occurs due to a problem with the Meibomian glands, found on the inside edge of eyelids. Either excessive oil is produced or a blockage of oil ducts that cause irritation. The blocking is said to be due to a skin condition called rosacea whereas seborrhoeic dermatitis may be associated with excessive oil.

Your doctor can prescribe drugs for bacterial blepharitis or you may use topical antibiotics medicine available over the counter.

2. Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1

Herpes simplex virus Type 1 can cause eye infections. For instance, patients who are living with HIV have a weakened immune system and this provides a favorable internal environment for HSV-1.

Symptoms include redness of the cornea, eye ache or pain, difficulty when opening them in bright light (photophobia), watering and blurry vision. These signs usually appear during the secondary infection. However, there may never be observable signs of the primary infection.

Treatment for viral conjunctivitis due to HSV-1 is applying antiviral eye ointment such as Aciclovir ointment or Ganciclovir gel will be used to stop the virus from spreading. Note the viruses do not get killed but are stopped from multiplying further until the infection goes away.

3. Corneal Herpes or ocular Herpes?

This infection is caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV-1) type 1 may lead to partial vision problems if the virus spreads deep into the cornea. You should be careful to see signs and symptoms. When you start to have much sensitivity to light, redness, swollen, pains or watery discharge, see your doctor immediately for diagnosis and test.

4. Non-allergic bloodshot eyes

Did you wake up one morning and found out blood eyes? This is a condition where the blood vessels beneath the white part of your eye swell, expand and redden. Why? It is because of the small dust particles, or other similar material present in one eye or both.

5. Contacts – Overused contact lens

You are most likely to this problem if you exceed the exact time meant for your soft eye lenses. Wearing your contact lenses for longer than the recommended period can cause irritation and discomfort. Never extend the specified period of contact lens use. Ensure you discard them and get a new package.

6. Poor Hygiene of Contact lens & Bacterial Keratitis

Extra care is needed for the contact lens users. If your contact lenses are not cleaned and rinsed using disinfecting solutions, the biggest risk is the accumulation of microbes which definitely end up in the eyes. Further on, bacterial keratitis – red eyes disease – develops because of recurring infections. As a cautionary action immediately see an ophthalmologist doctor to remove your contact lenses.

7. Cold and flu

What causes watery eyes in the morning is mainly cold and flu. Redness, sneezing and coughing are symptoms of cold and flu. Use of herbal products and natural fruits helps to fight germs and reduce symptoms. You can swallow Beechams all in one tablet, Strepsils and syrups to reduce fever, headache, and coughing. Avoid areas with congestions and large crowds so as to prevent catching it.

8. Conjunctival Haemorrhage

In certain rare situations, they may turn red in that a blood vessel bursts beneath the sclera without your conscience thus not easy to realize. In most cases, this is a condition that does not require any treatments.


What are some of the diagnostic procedures? Where is differential diagnosis applied?

Bacterial Conjunctivitis

First, Conjunctival scrapings are commonly used in the diagnosis of bacterial conjunctivitis where the Gram stain is useful for identifying bacterial characteristics. These conjunctival scrapings are acquired by using special tools during the process of diagnosing the species of bacteria that cause it. Giemsa stain is applied in screening and studying causes.

Chlamydial Conjunctivitis – Diagnosis

Cultures can be completed for chlamydial conjunctivitis diagnosis, and other bacterial infections as well as for viral agents. However, cultures are not necessary except for the case of known fungal contamination of a contact lens solution or a corneal ulcer.

How does viral diagnosis differ from bacterial tests? The cellular response in conjunctivitis differs according to the cause, for example after differential diagnosis of viral infections the lymphocytes are found out to be predominant.

Dry Eye Diagnosis

During diagnosis, the following techniques may be used.

Volume measure tears – In carrying out this diagnosis the Schirmer test is put into practical use. A blotting paper strip is placed under lower eyelids where measurements are taken from.

Tears quality. Your doctor checks out for corneal condition using test eye drops in order to detect any unusual changes.

The history of this problem. The overall health can help your doctor diagnose the cause of dryness

How is Herpes Simplex infection diagnosed?

Since the cornea is transparent, a doctor easily uses clinical stain and views it under a magnifier. In case the doctor notices a small ulcer erosion on the cornea urgently visit an ophthalmologist.

Effect or is it natural red eyes?

Didn’t you know the red-eye effect is a phenomenon in photography? It produces really ones especially the pupil. Occasionally it happens when there is a live performance on stage while flashes of camera operators come too close to eyes now and then. Have a glance picture captured below. NOTE: Some people have natural red eyes.

Natural red eye effect in photography
effect in photography

Best cures, medicines & creams

Is there a best cure for this problem? The cure for your eye distinctly varies with the cause. This section entails the methods of treatment for patients with different causes diseases.

Oral Azithromycin for Chlamydial conjunctivitis

According to a clinical study and official reports by [www.nature.com], “Since the early 1990s, several studies have been reported that single doses of oral azithromycin are effective in the treatment of trachoma.”

The conclusions reveal oral azithromycin treatment of Chlamydial conjunctivitis was well tolerated by all patients. A ‘two weekly doses of oral azithromycin were effective and well tolerated in the treatment of chlamydial conjunctivitis.’ This is the best medicine for red eyes in new-born babies who test positive for Chlamydial conjunctivitis.

Treatment of Scleritis

Treating scleritis involves administration of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS). Most of

Diclofenac 50 mg is an oral medicine administered orally 3 times daily. If symptoms persist in people with red eyes they should be referred to ophthalmologists for further diagnosis and therapy.

There are a number of brands of NSAIDS medicine which are found over the counter:

  1. Acular,
  2. Acular LS,
  3. Bromday,
  4. Apo-Ketorolac
  5. Voltaren Ophtha
  6. Indocid
  7. Vofenal

Best Eye Drops, Ointments + Creams

Are you stranded because you wonder how to choose accurate substance meant for people with red eyes? You must get diagnosis tests by optometrists or opticians so that you are sure what eye drops you need for your quick healing.

Alaway Antihistamine

In case you are frustrated by irritation from pollen, animal dander or hair get Alaway Antihistamine Eye Drops. They give relief to people with redness have a bit long-lasting effect on your itchiness. You can carry out daily activities without problems from sunrise to sunset.

Advanced Eye Relief™

Those dry, burning and irritating eyes need this product. They are the best for irritation and dryness; but if you are in dire need of instant relief go for Advanced Eye Relief™ Redness Instant ReliefIn addition, it contains the substantial moisturizing ability to ease out constant uncomfortable feeling due to dryness.

Antihistamine OptiPranolol® for Glaucoma

They contain blockers – Betanol, Disorat, and Trimepranol. It is the ability to rapidly metabolize that make OptiPranolol more effective in curing serious conditions such as glaucoma. “The prescription eye drop OptiPranolol® is designed to help decrease the pressure in the eyes.” [www.eyehealthweb.com]

Cyclosporine Ophthalmic Emulsion

Cyclosporine Ophthalmic Emulsion 0.05% is a Restasis, an approved specifically designed to help chronic dryness. “RESTASIS® is indicated to increase tear production in patients whose tear production is presumed to be suppressed due keratoconjunctivitis sicca.” [www.allergan.com] Keratoconjunctivitis sicca is a type of chronic dry eye disease. Administration of artificial tears is important but remember to consistently pay a visit to your doctor for regular check-up and therapy.

GenTeal Gel Ointment

You should consider GenTeal Gel Ointment for severe dryness because you will find it helpful in reducing this effect effects. Generally, if you opt for over the counter OTC creams for dry eye check out to see those with these ingredients:

Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, Polyethylene Glycol or Polyvinyl alcohol. They have high moisturising ability that dry red eyes are in need of.

Olopatadine Hydrochloride Ophthalmic for Allergic Conjunctivitis

It is difficult to absolutely avoid the sources of allergens. It is better for you to go for anti-histamine eye drops, non-steroidal and anti-inflammatory ointments over the counter. But the best for patients who suffer from allergic conjunctivitis is olopatadine hydrochloride ophthalmic solution. This ophthalmic solution has a strong and safe anti-allergic power hence recommended curing allergic irritation of the conjunctiva.

How to treat Acute Bacterial Conjunctivitis

There are three or more categories of drops and ointments for treating acute bacterial conjunctivitis. The best cure belongs to the first group as follows:


  1. Ciprofloxacin/Ofloxacin 
  2. Levofloxacin drops,
  • Moxifloxacin, Gatifloxacin, or Besifloxacin,


  1. Tobramycin 0.3% drops
  2. Gentamicin 0.3% drops


  1. Erythromycin 0.5% ointment
  2. Azithromycin 1% solution

Other groups of eye treatment are Bacitracin ointment, Neomycin, Polymixin B and Sulfacetamide.

Clear them at home

Suffering from constant red eyes can be so annoying. If you desperately need to know how to relieve them at home, here are some of best natural and home remedies. These remedies include natural herbs with medicinal qualities. To begin, the following are tips to follow when using some of the natural herbs.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is effective in the fight against the bacterial infections which trigger irritation and pain. The following is the procedure:

  • Add 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water.
  • Dip a clean cotton ball in the solution and use it to rub and then clean them

Rose Water and Cucumber

Get rid of this redness by getting better of the cooling effect of rose water and content in cucumber and efficiently reduce puffiness and swollen eyes.

  • Prepare few small chips of fresh cucumber.
  • Dip a cucumber slice in rose water.
  • Lie in a horizontal position and then place them over your eyelids.
  • Place 2-3 drops of rose water in your eyes.


  • Place a cucumber in cold icebox/refrigerator for about 15 minutes.
  • Slice it up.
  • Keep one slice over each eyelid for a while until you start feeling the warmth.

Prevention – DOs & DON’Ts

What are some of the preventive strategies I can use at home? How do I prevent viral conjunctivitis?

Like any other contagious infections, it is important to prevent transmission of viral conjunctivitis to get control of it. By ensuring that both patient and care provider wash hands thoroughly and avoid touching the infected eye. In addition avoid sharing towels, linens, and other cosmetics. Patients who have been infected with pinkeye disease are advised to stay away from school and work until it is well contained.

Eye Contacts, Hygiene, Handling & Care

Before you can think about handling contact lenses, you MUST consider hygiene to prevent keratitis when wearing contact lens. Bacteria and germs are transmitted indirectly to your eyes through unclean hands.

  • WASH your hands using recommended soap solutions and thoroughly rinse your hands.
  • Clean each lens singly by placing a few drops of cleaning solution then rub the lens gently one at a time. Recommended solutions:


  1. Rinse properly the lens again to remove remains of any eye secretions: OR

Follow the intended purposeful cleaning techniques given by the manufacturer.

  1. Clear your lens holder by disposing of the previous solution.
  2. Refill the holder afresh and carefully place the lens.
  3. Use similar procedure 3 – 6 for the other lens.

CAUTION: Don’t go swimming with your eye contact lenses to avoid recurring keratitis infection.

Always remove soft eye lenses before sleeping.

Reduce Screen exposure Time

During watching, the tear film around the eyeball is exposed to air more as we tend to blink less often. The logic behind it is greatly associated with hormones that help and trigger tear secretion. For you to prevent dryness and itching, you must cut back the number of hours you spend watching TV or operating on computer monitors, iPads, tablets and mobile phones. This will reduce redness.

Balanced diet

A good care starts with a balanced diet. If you are to stop red eyes and prevent them you should stick to a regular balanced diet. Foods that are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids keep your body to defend against many micro-organism infections. Consider to exclusively take fish (e.g. salmon), eggs, milk and dairy products.

Also include Vitamin B12, B6, vitamins C and E to get rid of some causes. Supplement your main diet with strawberries, broccoli, oranges, mangoes, fresh vegetables, etc.

Quit Smoking and Alcoholism

Smoking and alcoholism are some of the vices that people practice and this condition. If you decide never to smoke or stop smoking you stop thinking about drops for red eyes after smoking.

To conclude indeed, you need to pay great attention to your eyes. If there are unfamiliar symptoms not discussed above or for which you have imperfect knowledge go for medical tests. Observe after-treat care to promote faster healing.

Reference and Cited works

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