Have you ever had bloodshot eyes? You’ve probably looked in the mirror before and noticed the whites of your eyes are bright red. A broken blood vessel in eye happens quite frequently. However, the good news is this condition usually isn’t very serious. Learn more about the causes and steps to help prevent it.
Bloodshot Eyes: What Is It?
If your eye is “bloodshot” then you might have something called subconjunctival hemorrhage, which happens when tiny blood vessels in the eye break. This happens a little under the eye’s clear surface.
These blood vessels are unable to take in the blood very fast, which causes blood to get trapped. In fact, you might not even notice this has happened until you look into a mirror and realize the eye’s white part is actually red. The good news is this condition happens frequently when it doesn’t seem an eye injury has happened. In fact, even basic actions like a strong cough or sneeze might result in a broken blood vessel in eye.
The eyes heal within time so you won’t have to treat it. The exception is when an injury or another condition has caused the bloodshot eyes. In that case, you’ll have to deal with the root cause.
The symptoms usually aren’t serious. In fact, they’ll usually clear up in about two weeks. It could be said the symptoms look worse than they actually are. The main symptom is a red patch located on the eye’s white part. While it may look shocking it doesn’t cause vision change, pain, or discharge. You might experience an itchy feeling on the eye’s surface but that’s it.
In most cases, you should just wait a week or two for the eye to heal. One exception is when the eye’s blood vessels keep breaking. Another one is if you have other kinds of bleeding. In these cases, you should speak to your doctor.
It’s also important to know the main causes and risk factors related to this condition. This will help to pinpoint the likely cause of your red eyes. In some cases, the cause is another condition that might include more serious conditions. It’s better to be on the safe side.
Causes, Risk Factors, and Prevention
There are various causes for bloodshot eyes. In fact, sometimes it’s unknown what’s causing the blood vessels to break. Here are some of the common causes:
- Violent coughing/sneezing
In other cases, red eyes can be caused by other things. They include an eye injury or rubbing your eye hard. As always if you experience symptoms of broken blood vessels make sure to see an eye doctor. In some cases, the cause could be due to more serious factors.
There are also various risk factors you should be aware of since this can boost your chance of broken blood vessels in your eye. Here are some of the main ones:
- Blood-clotting issues
- High blood pressure
- Blood-thinning meds
These are more serious conditions. It could explain why you experience red eyes more often. If you keep noticing symptoms of this condition you should get it checked out. The problem might not actually be the blood vessels, but instead, a condition that’s causing your eyes to turn red.
If you experience his condition you usually don’t have to worry about complications. However, if there’s another cause like an injury then it’s important to get it treated to help deal with other symptoms that it’s caused.
You can also try to prevent this condition by taking steps to reduce the risk. One is to avoid rubbing your eyes too hard. If you do that you can cause trauma to the eye. This can cause blood vessels to break.
Sometimes it can be tough to avoid rubbing your eye. This is especially true if it’s really itchy. If you need to do it just make sure not to rub it hard to help prevent damage.
You can also treat any conditions that could trigger the problem. Even if you lower the risk there’s no guarantee you won’t experience subconjunctival hemorrhage. However, it will be less likely.
Tips for Healthy Eyes
1. Exercise more
This might seem to have nothing to do with eye health but it’s critical. For example, exercise increases blood flow throughout your body. That, in turn, helps to boost oxygen levels to your eyes and get rid of toxins.
2. Sleep more
Like other body parts, it’s important for your eyes to get enough rest. Make sure you sleep enough at night so you feel rested in the morning. When possible try to get 7-9 hours of sleep every night.
This will help to recharge your body including the eyes. On the other hand, if you don’t get enough shut-eye it can put more strain on your peepers during the day and cause them to look bloodshot.
3. Wash hands
This will help to prevent dirt and bacteria from entering the eye. Just like rubbing your eye this is a common yet avoidable step you can take to protect your eyes.
4. Wear sunglasses
Make sure to wear ones with good UV protection. This will help to filter out UVA, UVB, and UVC rays. You should definitely avoid “cheap sunglasses” since it can actually trap the UV rays between your eyes and the lenses, which can be worse than wearing no sunglasses.
5. Eat healthily
Make sure to pick foods that are high in Vitamins A and C, and others that are high in antioxidants. Some good options are fish, carrots, citrus, and green leafy veggies.
Another good option is fatty fish like sardines, anchovies, herring, and salmon. These foods are high in omega-3 fatty acids. This nutrient is important for central vision. Vitamin C can also help to speed up recovery from a broken blood vessel in the eye.