What is it
Bloodshot means that the small vessels on the surface of the eyeball are dilated and visible.
- Red spidery veins on the white of the eyeball.
WHAT CAUSES IT
Many people notice that their eyes are red first thing on awakening. Lack of sleep, alcohol consumption the night before, overuse of contact lenses, or an allergy are among the possible causes. Bloodshot eyes during the day can be caused by some irritant, eyestrain, rubbing your eyes excessively, or anything that tends to dry your eyes (high heat and low humidity, or insufficient tear production).
Colds, flu, and hay fever can produce bloodshot eyes as well, but occasionally the condition can be a sign of underlying disease or injury. Conjunctivitis, or pinkeye, which is usually more alarming in appearance than bloodshot eyes, is an infection that produces very red, irritated eyes, as well as itching and a discharge. Blepharitis is another eye infection (of the eyelid) that produces redness, typically accompanied by a crust forming over the eyelashes.
What if you do nothing
Most commonly, if the cause is external and temporary, bloodshot eyes improve by themselves.
Wash your face and eyelids
Using cold water can help and so can cold compresses.
Try over-the-counter eye-drops and eyewashes
Drops normally consist of a decongestant to tighten blood vessels; eyewashes normally consists of boric acid or saline solution. Both may he helpful. But be sure to follow instructions carefully with any eye product. Overuse of some eye-drops can actually increase redness. And eyecups can be a source of infection, so use only the disposable kind.