Eye redness is a condition that occurs when the vessels located on the surface of your eye dilate or expand. This dilation causes an enlargement of the vessels throughout your eyes, making them appear red. There are a number of different factors that can cause eye redness that are relatively minor and can be effectively treated with simple at-home care remedies. These eight solutions for how to clear red eyes are safe, effective options for treating most types of minor eye redness.
1. Warm Compress
A warm compress functions to promote blood flow to the area as well as increase the oil production in your eyes. Both of these assist in lubrication of your eyeball and may reduce redness. Keep in mind that using a compress that is too hot can be more irritating than helpful, so make sure the compress is warm but not too hot.
To apply this treatment, simply soak a towel in warm water and wring out any excess. Gently press the towel on your eyes and hold for 10 minutes. You can repeat this treatment several times a day until your eye redness subsides.
2. Cold Compress
If you do not get relief from a warm compress, you may want to try a cool compress instead. This treatment primarily offers short-term results, but it should provide relief nonetheless. The temperature of the cool towel functions to reduce any swelling in the eyes as well as relieve itchiness and irritation that may accompany the redness.
To treat your eyes with a cool compress, simply place a clean towel in cool water or purchase an eye mask and place it over your affected eye(s). Allow the compress to rest on your eyes for 5 to 10 minutes, repeating as often as necessary to provide relief. Again be sure to avoid any temperature extremes on or around your eyes, as that could actually make your issue worse.
3. Eye Drops
Cooling eye drops or artificial tears are one of the simplest options for how to clear red eyes. These eye drops function to lubricate and cleanse the eye, so they work on several levels to treat redness. Most individuals can achieve relief from short-term use of over-the-counter eye drops.
However, if the issue persists, you may want to discuss options for long-term use with your doctor. If you want an even higher level of relief from eye drops, consider refrigerating the drops before use.
As elementary as it sounds, water is an important component in the composition of your entire body, including your eyes. If you are not drinking enough water, you’ll quickly become dehydrated, which makes your eyes appear bloodshot. If you have tried the other remedies for how to clear red eyes but are still experiencing persistent redness, monitor your water intake and increase it to a sufficient amount. You need roughly 8 cups of water each day to maintain the fluid levels in your body.
Much like your water intake affects your eyes, so does your diet. If you are consuming excessive amounts of inflammatory foods, such as fast food, processed food, or dairy, you could be experiencing eye redness as an outward representation of internal inflammation.
To find relief, limit the amount of inflammation-causing foods in your diet, and increase the amount of inflammation-fighting foods you are eating. Omega-3 fats are great for reducing inflammation and can be found in foods such as fish, seeds, and nuts. You may also want to look for a supplement designed for eye health that contains omega-3s.
6. New Contacts
If you wear contacts, your eye redness could be linked to your lenses. After trying the other methods for how to clear red eyes, consider switching brands of lenses or try a new lens cleaner. Certain components of the lenses could be causing your eye redness, as could a reaction between your lens material and the contact lens solution you are using. Discuss your options with your doctor and be willing to try some different brands.
7. New Prescription
If you suspect that eye strain is the primary cause of your eye redness, you could need a new prescription. Whether you currently wear glasses, contacts, or otherwise, you may want to schedule a quick exam and have your eyes tested. Your doctor can also help you rule out any other underlying conditions or concerns.
8. Light Blocking Screen Protector
Working on the computer for excessive periods of time can also cause eye strain and irritation and contribute to redness. If that is the case for you, you may want to consider a light blocking screen protector panel. These panels are designed to fit easily over your computer display and reduce the amount of blue light emitted from the screen. The protector not only limits your exposure to the light, but it also reduces eye strain and is a simple solution for how to clear red eyes.
Eye redness is a common eye condition that most individuals can expect to encounter at some point in life. Fortunately it is generally minor and can be treated with simple at-home methods. Some of the most common causes of eye redness include dry eyes, allergies, computer eye strain, foreign substances, cold and flu, pregnancy.
With most of these issues, you’ll be able to identify the cause of the irritation relatively easily.
However, if you experience additional symptoms, such as oozing or seeping from one or both eyes, increased eye pain, or light sensitivity, you should consult your doctor to rule out any more pervasive eye conditions before self-treating. It is important to rule out any progressive eye conditions that could be causing the redness before trying these simple solutions for hot to clear red eyes.