Red eyes are a common problem and have many different causes. Some warning signs that you need to see a doctor are blurred vision, yellow or green discharge and pain. If you are a contact lens wearer, you should definitely see your optometrist or eye specialist as you may have an infection.
Most of you reading this however probably want to know about what to do with the chronic red eye that makes you look like you having too many late nights out or drinking too much. While vasoconstrictor drops may help temporarily, chronic use leads to dependence and your eyes just keep needing more and more. Like all things in life, it is better to address the cause and not the consequences.
The most common causes I see which cause chronic red eyes are two conditions called blepharitis and rosacea. Both are kind of cousins and both are essentially a sensitivity to bacteria which reside along the margin of your eyelid. You can almost think of it as the eye version of gingivitis or gum disease. Like gingivitis, the main aim of treatment is to reduce the numbers of bacteria around- you can do this with either a homemade solution of a few drops of baby shampoo or a pinch of bicarbonate soda in 1/2 glass of warm water. You then use a cotton wool ball or bud dipped in this solution to clean the edges of the eyelid where it meets the eyeball- best to do it with your eyes closed initially to avoid poking yourself in the eye! Alternatively you can buy ready made cleaning solutions from the chemist. Essentially you are doing the eye version of flossing or brushing your teeth.
If this doesn't work, wait for my next post and I will explain what else you can try to make yourself look more bright eyed and bushy tailed :)
* Information on this blog is general in nature and should not be taken as professional medical advice or as a substitute for a consultation with a medical professional.