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Blood shot eye & Red Eye Treatment in London

red eye

What causes a bloodshot eye?

The most common causes of a red eye are sneezing, coughing, straining, blowing the nose and high blood pressure. The medical term for this condition is a subconjunctival hemorrhage. You will usually notice a small red spot on the white of the eye that can increase in size. It is usually a sudden appearance and is not associated with eye pain.


A scratch to the eye can cause a red eye. This is known as a corneal abrasion. It may be associated with light sensitivity and excessive tearing. The watery eyes occur in reaction to the injury to the protective surface of the cornea. It will require antibiotic eye drops or ointment to prevent a secondary infection as it heals.

What does it indicate?


It is usually a minor condition but can be the sign of something more serious if it is associated with an injury or impact to the area. Bloodshot or red eyes occur when small blood vessels on the protective layer on the white area known as the conjunctiva leak into the surrounding tissues.

Can a red eye be serious?


A subconjunctival haemorrhage is usually not a serious condition and settles on its own with time. Sometimes it can be more serious in which case you will need to see your eye doctor to identify the underlying cause.


If you wear contact lenses a red eye can be the sign of an infection that can cause a corneal ulcer. This would require urgent assessment by your ophthalmologist and prescription eye drops to prevent any permanent damage.


In rare cases if there is a red eye with pain, blurry vision or loss of vision this can be a medical emergency. It could be a sign of a medical condition known as acute glaucoma. This can lead to permanent vision changes if left untreated. It can damage the optic nerve and lead to permanent vision loss.

Mr Ahmad Aziz is an experienced ophthalmologist who is able to asses you at his London eye clinic should you have any concerns.

How should I treat a bloodshot eye?


Time can usually treat the blood shot. There are plenty of over the counter medications to help soothe the symptoms or treat a pink eye.

  • Artificial tears from over the counter

  • Antihistamine eye drops if you have an itchy pink eye and are prone to seasonal allergies.

  • Decongestants to the nose if you suffer from sinusitis and the eye is pink

  • Over the counter antibiotic eye drops if you have a bacterial conjunctivitis

  • The use of cool compresses to soothe the eyes

  • Warm compresses if you have eyelid irritation from the oil glands on the lid known as blepharitis

  • Avoiding any allergic reaction triggers such as pollen, dust, smoke, fumes or pet dander

  • Washing your hands regularly and avoid touching your eyes unless your hands are just washed.

  • Avoid sharing towels and pillows

  • If you stay for prolonged periods in a moody environment consider changing that environment if possible or get a dehumidifier.

  • Consider replacing your eye makeup if there is an eye infection. The bacterial infection might remain in the make up.

How long does a bloodshot eye last?


A subconjunctival haemorrhage is usually harmless and is the result of a leak in the tiny blood vessels on the conjunctiva. . The redness typically lasts for two weeks or so. It would be worth getting your blood pressure checked to exclude high blood pressure.

Is a broken blood vessel in the eye a sign of a stroke?


A broken blood vessel on the eye is rarely the sign of a stroke. A clinical trial has shown that some patients who suffered from stroke had damage to the eye blood vessels on imaging. The theory behind it lies in the face that the brain and the eye share the same blood flow. It was an interesting finding and this area requires more research.

Can stress cause you to pop a blood vessel in your eye?


Stress can contribute to redness of the eyes. Stress can cause your body to release adrenaline in response to stress. This can also raise your blood pressure causing a subconjunctival haemorrhage.

Working long hours, reading or prolonged screen use results in you blinking less. This can make any dry eye syndrome worse which can lead to eye redness. Natural tears or dry eye drops can be used to treat this.

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