How to Get Rid of Red Eyes - Causes, Home Remedies & Tips for Prevention

By Adasat Dotcom  •   6 minute read

How to Get Rid of Red Eyes

Red eyes, or bloodshot eyes, occur when the blood vessels on the surface of your eyes become enlarged and visible. This can result from several factors, including eye strain, allergies, or infections. The condition can be uncomfortable, causing itching, burning, and a gritty feeling. Eye redness can sometimes indicate a more serious underlying issue that requires medical attention. Addressing these problems promptly can prevent further discomfort and ensure the health of your eyes. In this article, we will discuss some of the common causes of red eyes and tips to treat and prevent them. 

What are the Common Causes for Red Eyes?

Red eyes can result from various factors. These include environmental issues, medical conditions, infections, allergies, irritants, eye strain, dry eyes, and lack of sleep.

Environmental Factors

Red eyes are often caused by environmental elements like dry air, wind, or sunlight. If you're experiencing these issues, try wearing protective eyewear and using humidifiers. Exposure to harsh weather can lead to irritation and swelling of the blood vessels in your eyes.

Medical Conditions

Certain medical conditions like blepharitis or glaucoma can cause red eyes. Blepharitis involves inflammation of the eyelids, and glaucoma results from increased eye pressure. Both conditions need medical intervention and can lead to further complications if left untreated.

Eye Infections 

Eye infections like conjunctivitis (pink eye) can make your eyes red and swollen. Often caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi, conjunctivitis needs prompt treatment to prevent spreading. Symptoms include irritation, discharge, and a sensation of a foreign body in your eye.


Allergies can trigger red eyes through exposure to pollen, dust, or pet dander. Allergic reactions cause your eyes to produce histamines, leading to redness and swelling. Using antihistamine eye drops and avoiding allergens can help manage the symptoms and reduce irritation.


Irritants like smoke, chlorine from swimming pools, or even certain contact lens solutions can lead to red eyes. These substances cause the conjunctiva to become inflamed. Avoiding smoke, rinsing your eyes after swimming, and using hypoallergenic contact lens products can be beneficial.

Eye Strain from Digital Screens, Reading, Driving

Prolonged screen time, intense reading, or long hours of driving can cause eye strain and redness. This is often due to reduced blinking, which dries the eyes. 

Dry Eyes

Dry eyes occur when your eyes don't produce enough tears or the tears evaporate too quickly. This can lead to discomfort and redness. Use artificial tears to alleviate symptoms and consider consulting with an eye specialist if the problem persists.

Lack of Sleep/Dehydration

Lack of sleep and dehydration can cause red eyes. Both factors reduce the moisture in your eyes, making them more prone to irritation. Ensure you get enough rest and stay hydrated to keep your eyes healthy and reduce the likelihood of redness.

Are there Any Home Remedies for Red Eyes?

Red eyes can be caused by a variety of factors such as allergies, infections, or too much screen time. Here are some helpful ways to reduce redness at home.

Warm Compresses 

A warm compress can help by increasing blood flow and encouraging tear production. Take a clean washcloth, soak it in warm water, and place it over your closed eyes for about 10 minutes. This can soothe and hydrate your eyes, helping to alleviate redness caused by dry eyes or blepharitis.

Cold Compresses

To reduce inflammation and soothe tired eyes, use a cold compress. Soak a clean washcloth in cold water or use chilled cucumber slices, and place them over your closed eyes for a few minutes. This can help with eye pain and reduce bloodshot eyes.

Artificial Tears Using artificial tears can help to lubricate dry eyes and reduce redness. They are available over the counter and should be applied according to the package instructions. If you wear contacts, make sure to choose preservative-free artificial tears.

Eyelid Hygiene

Maintaining eyelid hygiene is crucial for preventing and reducing redness. Gently wash your eyelids with a warm compress and baby shampoo. This helps remove irritants and can reduce symptoms of conditions like blepharitis.

Limit Screen Time

Reducing screen time can help prevent digital eye strain, which often causes redness. Use the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and look at something 20 feet away.

Use Sunglasses

Wearing sunglasses can protect your eyes from irritants like wind, dust, and UV rays. This helps in preventing redness caused by exposure to these elements.

These methods can be effective if practiced regularly. If your condition persists or worsens, it's important to see a healthcare provider.

Medical Interventions for Red Eyes 

When simple treatments don't clear up red eyes, medical interventions may be necessary.

To address allergies, doctors often prescribe antihistamine eye drops or oral medications. This can reduce redness and itching. 

Infections like conjunctivitis may require antibiotic or antiviral eye drops. These treatments target the underlying cause and can quickly reduce symptoms. 

Steroid eye drops are sometimes used to treat severe inflammation. While effective, they must be used under medical supervision due to potential side effects. 

Artificial tears can help soothe dry eyes. Using preservative-free artificial tears often prevents further irritation.

For glaucoma, medicated eye drops help reduce intraocular pressure. These drops need to be used consistently to manage the condition.

Surgery might be necessary for issues like cataracts or corneal problems. Surgical options can effectively address the structural problems causing the redness.

Knowing when to seek medical help is crucial. If you experience severe pain, sudden vision changes, or a significant amount of discharge, contact an eye care professional immediately.

How to Prevent Red Eyes

To keep your eyes healthy and clear, it's important to follow a few simple habits.

Prioritize Sleep

Getting enough sleep is essential. Aim for 7-8 hours each night. This helps your eyes recover and reduces redness.

Manage Allergies
Identify what causes your allergies and try to avoid them. Over-the-counter allergy medications can help reduce eye irritation.

Stay Hydrated
Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Hydration helps keep your eyes moist and prevents dryness and irritation.

Avoid Rubbing Your Eyes
Rubbing your eyes can make redness worse. Try to keep your hands away from your face to avoid irritation.


Red eyes can often be treated with simple measures such as using artificial tears and applying a cool compress. Most cases of red eyes are not serious and can be handled at home.

It's important to take care of your eyes by avoiding irritants and practicing good hygiene. If the redness persists or is accompanied by pain or vision changes, you should see an eye doctor.

Remember, timely attention to eye problems can prevent more serious issues. Don't ignore symptoms that last longer than a few days. Your eye health is crucial, so make it a priority to seek professional help when needed.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I quickly get rid of red eyes?

To quickly relieve red eyes, you might try using artificial tears. They help lubricate your eyes and reduce redness. Some people find that keeping eye drops in the refrigerator makes them even more soothing. If allergens are causing your redness, avoiding them can help too.

Are home remedies effective for getting rid of red eyes?

Home remedies can be quite useful for red eyes. Using an ice-cold eye mask or a cold compress can reduce redness and swelling. Keeping a humidifier in your living space can also help by adding moisture to the air, which can prevent your eyes from drying out.

How can you prevent red eyes after consuming alcohol?

Alcohol can dehydrate you, leading to red eyes. To prevent this, drink plenty of water before, during, and after consuming alcohol. Using over-the-counter eye drops can also help keep your eyes moisturized. If you often get red eyes after drinking, you might consider cutting back on alcohol consumption.

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