Red Eyes: Causes, Symptoms And Available Treatments

Red eyes are much more common than many people realize. Indeed, It can happen to people of all ages, but especially to senior citizens.


Eyes may turn red when the tiny blood vessels on the surface of the eyes expand and turn the whites of one or both eyes a pink or reddish tint. There can be several causes such as allergies, pollen, pet dander, dust or mold. Other irritants include perfume and cigarette or cigar smoke. 

Red eyes can also be caused by dryness of the tear ducts. It’s caused if the tears your eyes manufacture evaporate too quickly. Symptoms include burning sensations in the eye area, blurred vision, eye fatigue and discomfort with your contact lenses.


In rare cases, if not treated, it can cause ulcers on the cornea and vision loss. 

Red Eyes: AKA Pink Eye

Also known as conjunctivitis, pinkeye is when the lining inside your eyelid and the white of your eye become inflamed. Causes can include a virus, bacteria, an allergy, or irritants like swimming pool chlorine. It’s very common, especially among children, and senior citizens.


Symptoms can include burning, itching,a yellow or green discharge, sensitivity to light and crust forming on your eyelids and eye lashes.



Glaucoma: It Could Be, Stay Vigilant

Red eyes in just about all cases is nothing to be concerned about and usually goes away in 7-10 days. Nevertheless, it could be a harbinger of a serious condition like glaucoma. 

Glaucoma happens when fluid builds up in the front part of the eye. This causes pressure and can damage the optic nerve. Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness for people in senior citizens, aged 60 and older. here are several symptoms to be aware of:

  • Severe pain in the eye
  • Headache
  • Decreased or blurred vision
  • Rainbows or halos in your vision
  • Nausea and vomiting


If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately.

Red Eyes: Treatments

Occasional occurrences of red eye that don’t last long — is nothing to worry about. You can find temporary relief in over-the-counter eye drops, which moisten the eye and can wash out the irritants. Also, decongestants can help reduce the itchiness along with the redness of allergies.


But, keep in mind, all of this is a temporary solution. Long-term use of drops and/or decongestants is not recommended — as it can make the problem worse.


Therefore, if you have persistent eye dryness and other symptoms— as outlined below, call your doctor.

  • A sudden change in vision
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Sudden halos around lights
  • Severe headache, pain in the eye, or fever
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • A foreign object or substance in your eye
  • Swelling in the eye
  • Inability to keep the eye open

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