What’s Causing Your Red Eyes?

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What’s Causing Your Red Eyes?

August 20, 2018

Based on recent commercials and ads, there are more eye drops available to consumers than ever before. One claims their product gets the red out fast and a new one on the market, Lumify, which is is an eye whitening drop claims “to drop everything.” Dr. Stewart Shofner states while these drops may work for some common cases, it’s very important to schedule an eye examination to diagnose the underlying cause of red eyes. “I see patients that misdiagnose their symptoms which prolong receiving any form of relief.”

Common Reasons for Red Eyes

Red eye is a condition where the white of the eye (the sclera) has become reddened or "bloodshot." Unless you have recently experienced an eye injury or have debris in your eye, red eyes are typically caused by allergy, irritants to smoke or perfume, over-wearing contact lenses, heavy drinking, chemical exposure (chlorine), unprotected sunlight exposure. Other causes may include pink eye (conjunctivitis) or from a more serious eye condition or disease.


Common Eye Diseases for Red Eyes

  • Dry Eye - Dry eye syndrome is a general term that describes the state of the front of the eye in response to a breakdown in the natural layer of tears that coats the front of the eye, called the tear film.
  • Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases which result in damage to the optic nerve and vision loss. Peripheral vision may begin to decrease followed by central vision resulting in blindness if not treated.
  • Uveitis – Most people haven’t heard of Uveitis, however, this disease is caused by inflammation of the uvea, the pigmented layer that lies between the inner retina and the outer fibrous layer composed of the sclera and cornea.
  • Corneal ulcer – Also known as ulcerative keratitis, is an inflammatory or more seriously infective condition of the cornea involving disruption of its epithelial layer with involvement of the corneal stroma


For common and infrequent or temporary red eyes, over the counter preservative-free lubricating eye drops may provide relief. Be aware that many of these drops may contain a drug called vasoconstrictors, which shrinks blood vessels. Using red eye remover drops frequently over a period of time is NOT recommended…call your eye doctor. If you wear contact lenses, remove the lenses and wear your glasses until you can be seen by an eye doctor. Be sure to bring your contacts with you to your appointment so your doctor can evaluate the lenses.


If you or a loved on is experiencing red eye symptoms or any changes in your vision, save some time and schedule an eye exam to receive the most effective treatment options. You can schedule a comprehensive eye exam online with Shofner Vision Center or call our office at (615) 340-4733. We accept most all insurance and our staff will answer any questions or concerns you have about your vision.

What’s Causing Your Red Eyes?

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