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Why Are My Eyes Red, Itchy & Watery? Common Causes & Treatments

Tuesday, March 14, 2017 @ 01:03 AM
Author: Amit Mathur

If your eyes are red, itchy, and/or watery you might be wondering if it’s something simple such as lack of sleep, allergies, or something more serious. We wrote this guide to help you figure out if you might have one of the more common disorders and issues causing those symptoms. If you aren’t sure, you should make an appointment with your eye doctor to assess the health of your eyes and provide a firm diagnosis.

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Pink Eye

Redness, itchiness, and watery eyes are all symptoms for pink eye, which can be caused either by allergies or by bacterial or viral infection that are contagious. Aside from those three symptoms, there are other signs you might have pink eye:

  • Your eyes have a burning or stinging sensation
  • Your eyes are swollen and puffy
  • Your eyes have a sort of discharge that isn’t just from watering

Make sure you wash your hands frequently to avoid catching or spreading the infectious form of pink eye. Even if you’re unsure if you have pink eye or something else, we advise that you don’t rub or scratch your eyes. You can get better relief using cold, wet compression on the outside of your eyelids. The cold will help reduce the swelling and soothe the burning.

Eye Trauma

If your eye, or eyes, are red but they do not also feel itchy or watery, it can be a sign of trauma to the eye. If you recently had something scratch or impact against your head or face around your eyes, that trauma can cause red eyes. Here are other symptoms that might mean the trauma might be more serious:

  • Pain in, around, or behind your eyes
  • Blurred or spotty vision
  • Swelling and pressure in or around your eyes

Such trauma could mean there is unseen damage to your eyes and could lead to a detached retina, which can cause blindness if not treated. If you suffer trauma to your eyes you should have it checked by an eye doctor right away. Use ice or cold cloths against the impacted area to reduce any pain and swelling.

Broken Blood Vessels

If your eyes are red, it can be the result of burst or broken blood vessels in the whites of your eye. That might sound very bad, but it’s almost always because of fatigue, rubbing, straining, or even no real reason at all. There is no other pain, watering, itchiness and you won’t notice it unless you look in the mirror or someone tells you.

If you want to be safe, or if your eyes stay bloodshot for another day or two, you can see your eye doctor to make sure there is no other disorder or trauma behind the redness. Otherwise, just wait for it to pass.

Blepharitis

If your eyes—particularly your eyelids—are red, watering, and itchy, it can also be a sign of a disorder caused Blepharitis. This is a common issue where your eyelids get inflamed. It can be caused by bacterial or fungal infection, dryness, parasites, or a few other sources. You can help determine if you have Blepharitis if you have these other symptoms:

  • Your eyes are burning or stinging eyes
  • There is a debris like dandruff in your eyelashes
  • Your eyelids feel very irritated and itchy
  • You start losing some of your eyelashes

You can have only some or all of these symptoms depending on the exact cause or severity. There are effective treatments for it, but you will need to get a diagnosis from an eye doctor as the treatments are usually in a clinic.

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