1. Dry eyes: When eyes are dry, they become irritated and inflamed; inflammation causes redness.
2. Seasonal allergies: Allergens like pollen and grass can cause swelling and inflammation which can lead to redness.
3. Lack of sleep: Eyes need to be closed for an extended period of time for tear layers to regenerate and replenish.
4. Smoke: Cigarette smoke causes the blood vessels in eyes to constrict thereby drying out the surface of the eye.
5. Pink eye: Pink eye (conjunctivitis) causes inflammation in and around the eye making it look red and swollen.
6. Alcohol: Alcohol consumption causes blood vessels in the eyes to relax allowing more blood to flow through them and making them look redder.
7. Swimming. Salt in ocean water is drying and pools contain chemicals that can lead to irritation and redness.
8. Burst blood vessel. When a blood vessel bursts, blood gets trapped under the surface of the eye which can cause a bright red splotch.
9. Frequent use of eye whitening drops. Eye whitening drops work by constricting the eye’s blood vessels to reduce blood flow. If you use whitening drops on a regular basis you may experience a rebound effect causing unnecessary redness.
Some of these things, like lack of sleep and swimming, will resolve themselves. Pink eye, chronic dry eye, and burst blood vessels are more serious and Dr. Tabak should be consulted.