Do you experience red eyes, blurred vision or watery eyes when reading or watching TV? If so, dry eyes may be the culprit.
It’s a problem that affects many people and can be caused by the environment, our diet, sinus problems, or even as a side effect of some medications like antidepressants, birth control and antihistamines.
The good news is that it’s easy to get rid of your dry eyes with these simple remedies: keep reading for our optometrist verified treatments.
What Does Red Eyes Mean?
The redness in the eyes is caused by the blood vessels dilating, inflammation, or congestive redness. Red eyes usually are caused by allergy, eye fatigue, over-wearing contact lenses, irritation caused by lack of eye moisture, or common eye infections such as pink eye (conjunctivitis). However, redness of the eye sometimes can signify a more serious eye condition or disease, such as uveitis, glaucoma, or an autoimmune disorder.
Are Red Eyes Something to Worry About?
Redness of the eyes is a symptom that could be associated with many eye diseases, such as dry eye syndrome. The redness of the eyes can also be caused by short-term situations, such as exposure to smoke and dust or being in a dry environment. It’s important to see an optometrist if your red eyes are accompanied by other symptoms like blurred vision, headaches or pain behind the eyes.
Before we get into how to treat red eyes, it’s important to understand the severity of your symptoms and if you need to seek more prompt medical assistance.
When Should You See the Doctor for Red Eye or Blurred Vision?
Red eyes, blurred vision, headaches and pain behind eyes means it’s time to see your Optometrist. Each symptom can be associated with various eye diseases or short-term issues ranging from uncorrected refractive error and dry eye syndrome to inflammatory diseases and autoimmune disorders. In these situations, it’s vital to get an evaluation by an eye doctor.
Should I Be Concerned if My Vision Goes Blurry All of a Sudden?
Yes, call 911 or immediately seek medical attention if your vision changes abruptly and never resolves. Normal changes to your vision are not abrupt. Even if the blurred vision is temporary, it can be a sign of a serious medical condition, like a vascular occlusion. Any of the following symptoms indicates a possible condition requiring medical attention: Loss of vision, severe eye pain, sudden weakness or numbness on one side of the body, fever or unusual sensitivity to light, nausea, or vomiting.
Did you know? 3.2 million women in America suffer from itching, burning and irritation of the eyes.
Can Dehydration Cause Blurred Vision?
The most critical component of the tear film is the aqueous layer, which is composed mostly of water. If your body is dehydrated, this part of the tear film may be deficient. As a result, you will have poor tear quality on the surface of your eyes and this can cause irritation, redness and blurry vision.
For some people, dry eyes can be caused by the lack of tears or decreased tear production. For others, they may have enough tears but they evaporate too quickly. Dry eyes can be caused as a result of aging, hormone changes, autoimmune disease, inflamed or infected eyelid glands, or ocular allergies.
Can Dry Eyes Affect Vision? Yes, if untreated, dry eyes can have long-term effects on your eyes and can cause blurry vision, a common side effect of dry eye syndrome.
But what is the best red eye treatment to choose?
How To Get Rid of Red Eyes (6 Treatments)
Depending on the cause of your red eyes or blurred vision, your optometrist will be able to suggest the best treatment option, while taking into consideration any life challenges and medical history. Here are the most common treatment options:
- Eye Drops (Artificial Tears). If you have temporary dry eyes, or experience mild discomfort from extended computer use, reading, school work, or other environmental situations, artificial tears can be an ideal treatment for dry eyes. They work best when coupled with good ocular hygiene.
Due to the large range of artificial tears available, finding the best option for you can make a significant impact on your day to day life. We recommend speaking with your eye doctor to determine the best options for your lifestyle. Your Optometrist can provide advice on which drops to use and how often you should use them.
- Decongestants. These eye drops help to reduce the redness in your eyes by constricting the eyes superficial blood vessels. However, they are intended as a short term solution to be used for no more than three days. Long-term use can actually worsen the redness. Avoid using these drops for more than three days to prevent rebound redness and other complications.
- Hygiene. Frequent hand washing is an important habit. We touch our face a significant number of times throughout the day. By keeping our hands clean, we can help avoid introducing irritants in and around the eyes. Always use clean towels to wipe your hands and face.
- Eye Protection. Protecting your eyes is all about prevention. Wear sunglasses, even when it’s cloudy out, to limit your exposure to UV light. Certain sunglasses can improve your contrast sensitivity while protecting your eyes from environmental irritants that can cause dry eyes and ocular irritation. Sunglasses also assist in protecting your eyes from eye discomfort caused by excessive UV exposure. Certain lens coatings, like blue-light blockers, can protect your eyes from blue light emitted from digital devices. Blue light has a shorter wavelength than visible light rays do and prolonged exposure can cause dry and tired eyes.
- Allergen Reduction. Minimize your exposure to allergy triggers like smoke, fumes, pollen, dust, chlorine or pet dander. It can be as simple as staying inside, or minimizing outside time during allergy season. On windy days, allergens like pollen are more easily spread. In comparison, after a rainy day, the air has been cleared of some of the pollen. Learn more in our article here.
- Radio Frequency. It’s name may seem intimidating but it’s actually quick, safe and one of the best dry eye treatments. Radio frequency is a non-invasive, heat and laser technology that helps to treat dry eye disease by opening your eyes oil glands, also known as meibomian glands. There are also some major beauty upsides as it’s also an effective treatment for reducing the appearance of:
- Facial Wrinkles
- Fine lines around the eyes
- Facial creases
- Loose skin
Radio Frequency improves dry eye symptoms by preventing tear evaporation and it also has additional benefits for anti-aging by stimulating collagen and elastin production which reduces wrinkles and leaves the skin with a glow. It is a 30 minute treatment that is non-invasive, safe and requires no needles.
What is RF for Dry Eyes? (and Red Eyes)
The goal of radio frequency therapy is to improve the meibomian gland function and this in turn prevents tear evaporation. Radio frequency (RF) therapy for dry eyes is commonly used when it becomes chronic. This therapy can also help with red eyes caused by dry eye syndrome. This type of therapy does not have any side effects on your skin or vision, which are typically seen with other treatments. Look for a RF provider near you.
Radio Frequency is comfortable, safe, non-invasive and can take as little as 30 minutes!
Does Radiofrequency Have Side Effects?
Side effects are typically minimal and short-lived and are limited to mild and temporary swelling, redness and tingling, depending on the treatment. Patients describe the feeling as a warm, soothing sensation in the treatment zone similar to a hot stone massage because it gently heats the skin, which helps open the oil glands on the eyelids while promoting collagen and elastin activity around the eyes.
Eliminate dry eyes, stinging, itchiness and leave with an improved skin tone and a natural glow. Book a dry eye and/or ocular aesthetics consultation with us today! Our certified providers will educate you on this technology and help you find the best treatment options for your skin and eyes.
At Real Eyes Optometry, we offer dry eye treatment with Radio Frequency. It stimulates collagen production, reduces wrinkles and improves dry eyes & eyelid health.