No announcement yet.

Red eyes - no idea why...

This topic is closed.
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Red eyes - no idea why...

    Hi everyone,

    I just happened across this forum on google, I thought I'd give it a try asking for some advice from you guys, seems there's some pretty useful stuff up here already.

    So for pretty much as long as I can remember now, I have had red eyes. I am currently 21. I have 20/20 vision, and for the most part my eyes feel fine (as far as I know, it's been that long since they were 'normal', if ever) but people will still comment on the redness.

    They are at their absolute worst when I first get up in the morning, get slightly better during the day, then redden up more again in the evenings. A lack of sleep will worsen the redness.

    Other classic triggers include:

    -Travelling on planes
    -Cigarette smoke
    -Any kind of contact with the eye
    -Being too hot
    -Bike riding (wind)

    I used to work in a convinience store, and at at least two points during a shift under those horrible flourescent lights, I would have horribly stinging eyes, which would water loads and I would have to squint through them until it passed, usually after 5 minutes or so.

    Often they will be redder on the exposed parts of the eye, e.g. the part of my eyeball covered by the eyelid remains whiter than the exposed section. Apparently I slept with my eyes partly open as a kid (maybe still do), perhaps there could be a link there?

    Doctors and opthalmists haven't been very helpful so far, most just stabbing at blephartitis or whatever, which I really don't think it is. One doctor put the little sticks of paper in my eye, which apparently didn't soak up as much fluid as a normal eye would. As a result I was put on steroids and celluvisc, but gave up due to getting zero results, in fact slightly redder eyes due to the irritation of the drop hitting my eye.

    It really gets me down, I consider myself confident but it's difficult to maintain eye contact with people when I know all they're thinking is "Why are his eyes so red" or "how could he come to work so stoned?" etc.

    At the same time, it's just red eyes, people out there have it much worse in terms of health problems and nasty diseases etc., but it still grinds me down and takes up a lot of my thoughts.

    I would really like to clear this up, or at least make things slightly better. I feel like I've tried a lot of different things now, but nothing has worked at all. I even tried taping up one of my eyes one night to see if it was the sleeping half-open thing, but achieved no results.

    So does anyone out there suffer a similar condition with their eyes? I would be SO greatful to any advice and help given.

    Thanks a lot in advance everyone!


  • #2
    Hi there,

    welcome! I've been writing on this forum for about 2 years...I'm 24 and like you have chronic red eyes since I was very very young (cant even remember when it started). well, all I can tell you is that in the last 5, 6 years I basically travelled around the world going to some of the "best" doctors and i'm still here with the problem.

    Only recently my last Dr. (again, another considered one of the best) told me that I have conjunctivochalasis. I didn't know this name before and yes like you they just would say "Oh, you have some mild blepharitis, start warm compresses"....I tried steroids too and helped only temporarily...

    So, next week I have an appt. with another Dr. that hopefully will confirm that I do have least I really know what causes the redness after all these years. There is a surgery for this problem and I'm thinking about it even if someone didn't have great results.

    By the way, my symphtoms are mild dryness, and burning (a lot of it) .....they told me too that I sleep with my eyes slightly open but sleeping with masks, taping my eyes didnt help...and I dont wake up with my eyes incredibly dry or burning so I guess thats not the cause...

    Yes, i am quite confident too but this really is something that affects your life especially socially....I've reached the point where I prefer avoiding people because i'm very embaressed and frustrated about this......I use tinted lens everywhere even in class so until you find the cause I suggest you to get something like that if you are tired of the comments and people staring!!! Well, someone does still stare but at least they assume I have a problem with my eyes since I always wear these tinted glasses..

    So, my suggestion is find a good Dr. and hopefully find the exact cause....oh, sorry to say this but apparently some people have red eyes without a cause (I might be one of these too, at this point) so for that there aren't a lot of answers except for a strong anti inflammatory used long term that I guess doesn't exist at the moment...good luck feel free to write me a p.m.!

    p.s. I just saw you are from the UK, please go to some MD's and not Optometrists because I visited one in London and was basically a "money eater" and couldn't even prescribe drugs I was asking for so desperately.


    • #3
      Thanks for your post Francesco!

      So, anyone got any suggestions for treatment?


      • #4
        i have not posted in a long time however I do frequent the boards often...

        hamkins and Francesco, I have the same problem as you guys. Hamkins, while reading your story, it sounded so similar to mine. Just like your situation, the exposed part of my eyes are red, however if i move my lid up and down the remaining part of the sclera is white as snow. Im 21 now and I have had red eyes since the age of 13. No doctors have helped, ive tried Restasis and have been on multiple steroid drops without any success.

        I now just take Thera tears and do cold compressions about twice a day. Some days are good, some not so...but all in all, dry eyes suck!


        • #5
          Hi hamkins,
          I'm 20 years old myself, and I've been suffering from red eyes 24/7 for about 5 or 6 years now. It started out of nowhere and before I was too smart to realize what I was doing, I was putting redness OTC drops into my eyes up to 10x a day. I've tried and been tested for everything and nothing works. I feel depressed a lot and it's ruining my social life. I'm a fun person! but I find it hard to go out anymore. My new goal is to completley stop using the redness drops. Unfortunately since nothing has worked for me I don't know what advice to give you. Try restasis, flax seed tablets, and artificial tear drops. They didn't work for me, but I know they work for some people.

          Good luck


          • #6
            I don't go out after evening, coz my eye will dark circled and red, nothing helps include eye drops...

            Eye are sensitive to electrical lights, air pollution, wind, sprays, etc...

            Red eye because your eye's inside supply got a problem, inflammation is the way your body stop you using your eye...I believe the chinese medical's thinking way.


            • #7
              A decade-old post. I still can remember buying anti-red-eye drops being a young kid - now 35. This is how long I've been having it. Basically I have same symptoms as described by guys here. Same triggering / worsening factors as mentioned by hamkins could add crowded places with many people wearing various perfumes and warm windy metro undergrounds. Also same type of eye redness as mentioned by precise and others - only exposed eye surface is red and eye surface under lids is white. With little exceptions in the mornings - whole eye surface has some redness.

              So here are a few observations.

              On usual workdays: some redness right after waking up then redness goes away and eyes surface is pretty nice white until it starts coming back late afternoon reaching peak redness in the evening.

              On weekend days: some morning redness that goes away rather quickly. Then for the rest of the day my eyes are white! Might get a bit of redness towards the evening but barely noticeable. However this is only the case if I don't go out. If I go out (means taking metro, alcohol drinks, a cigarette, pubs and clubs, staying till late) then redness is unavoidable. Sometimes I will be luckier (see next section) but in most (not all) cases I will have full blown red eyes by the late evening. And that doesn't help much in social situations but I learned to live with it. Quite often people will say something like "bro your eyes look red..." and well you can joke a bit like "yep, the devil's eyes" or "sorry can't see that from inside" but deep in your heart you feel bad no matter how much you joke about it.

              So here is what helps:
              • good bed regime, 8 hours of quality sleep, going to bed and getting up same time, quality bed linen (high thread count + will help with dust mites allergy which causing morning redness) washed with fragrance-free softner-free nonsense-free detergents
              • big glass of warm water with lemon first thing in the morning (to the mouth not into your eyes)
              • use warm or slightly cold shower but not hot
              • a pill of omega 6 oil from borage (mega GLA complex) with your breakfast I buy from Planet Organic (London)
              • a pill or two of quality omega 3 oils I buy from Planet Organic (London)
              • if you are in dry environment use eyedrops, my choice Eye Drops by A. Vogel
              • do short 2-minutes massages of your closed eyes, very gentle, wash your hands well before touching eyes
              • give your face a 1-minute wash with cool water, then put some quality facial oil so that skin doesn't feel dry
              • if you know you need to have prettier eyes towards evening and you need to sit in the environment with heaters or ACs blowing around use glasses from 7eye . com they block all airflows, and they don't look bad, they look a bit different to other glasses though but don't worry about co-workers - it is just a condition you need to deal with, you can suggest them try sitting with hair dryer blowing into their face with eyes open - same effect except it takes much much less for your eyes to get irritated by fan heaters, use same glasses+mask if you bicycle, even in your car
              • if you feel that your eyes got irritated and triggered inflammation processes then a pill of ibuprofen / ibumetin 400mg will help

              Perhaps if anyone else having this type of red eyes (only exposed eye surface is red) could share their observations as to whether staying in home helps them to avoid red eyes, would be great to compare / discuss. My gut feeling is that diesel car fumes and air pollution in general are the number one cause of our red eyes. All other fumes like fragrances (crowded places with many people), tobacco, chlorides, sulfates etc are probably acting as catalysator to the inflammation process but the initial trigger is most likely car fumes especially diesel. At least in my case I can spend whole day in house use fragrances, cleaning liquids (chlorides), whole day staring at the computer monitor without blinking often but eyes won't get red. It is only when I move out in to the streets. Maybe an important to note my house is on the dead-end road so there is no traffic going through - maybe this is the reason I don't get much pollution while at home.