When a person has a red eye, it can be alarming. However, in most cases, this is just a minor eye condition such as a burst blood vessel. If there is pain involved, it can be more serious. For those who find that this red eye does not clear up within a few days, be sure to see your doctor. You should immediately contact someone for medical attention if:
- The red eye is painful
- Vision is reduced, you have a sensitivity to light, severe headache or are feeling sick
- Recently injured your eye
Common Cause of Red Eye without Pain
For those who have a red eye without pain, the most common cause is conjunctivitis or a burst blood vessel. This does not affect your vision and often clears up on its own within a week or so.
This is a swelling or irritation of the conjunctiva. This is the thin layer that covers the eyeball and the inner surface of the eyelids. This causes the blood vessels to swell, making the eyes look bloodshot or gritty. Other symptoms of this can include watering of the eyes, along with being itchy and having a sticky coating on the eyelashes. This is most often caused by an allergy, irritant or infection.
Treatment for this will depend on what is causing this to happen. Sometimes, it may get better on its own. Your doctor may recommend:
- Cleaning away the crust or discharge from your eye regularly
- Not wearing contact lens until this passes
- Regularly washing your hands
- Avoiding sharing towels and pillow to avoid spreading this condition
- Antibiotic eye drops for infection
- Taking antihistamines for allergies
Burst Blood Vessel
A burst blood vessel can happen when a person strains, coughs or injuries their eye. This is medically termed a subconjunctival haemorrhage. It can look serious, but in most cases it is not serious and will clear up on its own.
Intermittent, short-lived periods of red eye are generally no cause for concern. But insistent red eye, particularly when escorted by eye discomfort or vision changes, can hint to a more severe problem.
Seek medical assistance right away if red eye is escorted by:
- Loss of vision
- Serious headaches, eye discomfort, queasiness or rare sensitivity to bright lights
- Unable to open your eyes
- A feeling that there may be something in your eye
For a consistent red eye that doesn’t go away after a few days, particularly if you have a dense or continuous discharge or slimy discharge, phone your GP to examine you.