Redness in the eyes, what can it be?

Expert answer:

Redness in the eyes can be a sign of several diseases with varied causes, so the symptoms need to be investigated by an ophthalmologist. Some of the diseases that can make the eyes red are:

  • Conjunctivitis (viral and bacterial): It is one of the diseases that causes more redness in the eyes, mainly in the inner part of the eyelids. The disease is contagious and usually affects both eyes, and may be more intense in only one of them. In addition to redness, it also causes secretion, tearing, burning, photophobia and mild itching. Symptoms and disease usually resolve spontaneously within 10 days. In some cases it may be necessary to use eye drops with antibiotics or anti-inflammatories or even ointments;
  • Allergy allergy or conjunctivitis: It is an important cause of redness in the eyes, especially in children and individuals with a history of rhinitis, bronchitis and sinusitis. Its main symptoms are intense itching of the eyes and swelling of the eyelids. It affects both eyes, presenting little or no secretion, is not contagious and the treatment is done with antiallergic eye drops;
  • Subconjunctival haemorrhage (effusion): It causes intense redness in the affected area of ​​the eye, but does not present risks for the vision, despite the unpleasant visual aspect. It also does not cause pain and improves between 7 and 21 days, even without treatment;
  • Uveitis: It causes redness in the eyes, next to the iris, and if left untreated can definitely compromise the vision. Its symptoms are photophobia, pain and blurred vision, with small dark spots that move. It usually affects only one eye and treatment is done with specific eyedrops, usually associated with antibiotics, antivirals or antifungals, and it may be necessary to prescribe corticosteroids or immunomodulators in autoimmune forms;
  • Blepharitis or dry eye: It causes a slight redness in the eyes and the patient usually refers to a sensation of sand in the eyes, besides burning and dryness. Symptoms worsen in dry, windy or air-conditioned environments. In general, the treatment is done with the use of artificial tears that give more comfort until the frame improves.
  • Pterygium: It does not leave the red eye all the time and improves with lubricating eye drops or vasoconstrictors. Its symptoms are burning, tearing and sensitivity to light.

It may also be of interest to you: I have a lot of itchy eyes. What can be and what to do to alleviate?

As the redness in the eyes bothers people, people tend to drip eye drops without a prescription in an attempt to solve the problem, which only disguises the symptoms and aggravates the situation. Red eye should be evaluated and treated by an ophthalmologist.