Featured BLOGs


December 12, 2017

December is a month filled with fun and Holiday cheer. It is also a month common to stress, long days, late nights, decorating, cooking, baking, and don’t forget the festive parties…one or all of these can contribute to waking up with bloodshot eyes.

What causes bloodshot eyes? The redness occurs when tiny blood vessels under the eye’s surface get dilated or inflamed. This is usually a response to external irritation.

No one wants to wake up with itchy or watery eyes. Here are a few recommendations to make the red streaks disappear and provide some relief:

  • Use over-the-counter, preservative free artificial tears. Dr. Stewart Shofnerrecommends preservative free because the preservatives can irritate the eye even more causing more harm than good. Refresh, Refresh Optive, Systane, and Thera Tears are all great products.
  • Use over-the-counter antihistamine eye drops with a steroid—if you’ve been previously diagnosed with red eyes due to allergies.
  • Place cool compresses or washcloth on your closed eyes a couple of times a day. Try swapping the cloth with a couple of cucumber slices for a refreshing treatment.
  • Avoid smoke, fumes, pollen, dust, chlorine/cleaning products, pet dander or other irritants.
  • Wash your hands often, not touching your eyes unless you’ve just washed your hands, and using clean bedding and towels daily.

Bloodshot eyes should clear up within a few days and up to a week. If your eyes are still red or irritated you may have an eye infection and should schedule an appointment with your family physician or paediatrician. Dr. Shofner recommends seeing a doctor if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:

  • Redness or discomfort lasts more than a week.
  • Fever or overall sickness.
  • Pain in or around your eyes or unusual tenderness.
  • Light sensitivity.
  • Eyes encrusted with mucous.
  • Exposure to pink eye (conjunctivitis), especially for children attending school.

If you have experienced vision changes along with any of the symptoms listed above, an Ophthalmologist can offer a comprehensive eye exam for a more-detailed evaluation. Feel free to contact our vision care providers at Shofner Vision Center if you have questions or would like to schedule an appointment at (615) 340-4733 or online. Hope you enjoy the Holidays!


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