Remember those nights in college when you stayed up all night (reason unknown) and the next morning you woke up looking like you cried for 12 hours straight? Your eyes red and a web of veins. Your eyes just look uncomfortable!
But they may not be.
Enlarged red veins on the whites of your eyes don’t necessarily impact your vision – but are more a cosmetic issue and can affect a person’s self esteem when it comes to their eyes. After all, your eyes play such an important part when you meet or are speaking to someone.
Enlarged veins, however, are usually the effect of another issue.
They don’t just “appear on their own,” but rather develop for several reasons that may include:
- Dry eye syndrome.
If you have untreated dry eye syndrome, it irritates and strains your eyes further causing the enlarged red veins
- Overexposure to the sunlight without good eyewear.
UV rays haven’t done anybody any favors, so protect your eyes from the sun with UV blocking sunglasses.
- Computer eye strain.
Staring at an electronic screen for an extended period of time without taking a break or following the 20-20-20 rule (Look at object 20 feet away, every 20 minutes, for 20 seconds).
- And finally, overuse of vasoconstrictor eye drops.
You know how people say when you use lip balm too often, your lips become addicted to it more or less? They become drier and more chapped when you stop using lip balm? The same thing goes for these “redness reducing” eye drops. Using eye drops, such as Visine, will help calm down the redness, but overusing them will make the redness come back stronger and the veins more enlarged.
So, what can you do about it?
You can schedule an appointment to meet with your optometrist inside your local America’s Best. An optometrist, through a complete eye exam, can determine whether there is some other health issue leading to the redness of your eye (such as allergies or dry eyes). He or she can also prescribe any medication that can help alleviate the problem.
After providing a remedy to the allergies (if applicable) or the dry eye, your doctor can also recommend some general ways to keep your red eye under control (such as flaxseed oil supplements and lubricating drops instead of vascoconstrictors)
Either way, the best thing you can do is to go see your eye doctor instead of trying to diagnose and cure your own red eye, because there may be an underlying health issue, an eye disease, or just a cosmetic condition you can’t treat but can control.
Schedule an appointment with a local optometrist today.