Whether it’s a long day sitting in front of the computer screen, hanging out in an excessively dry environment or it’s just that time of year when your allergies play up, there’s a wide range of reasons a person might have to endure the uncomfortable experience of red eyes.
Unfortunately, some people even have naturally redder eyes due to more prominent blood vessels. Whatever the reason, for most people, red eyes is a symptom rather avoided. Not only do red eyes make you look like you’ve been on the sauce, the accompanying itchiness and discomfort make for an unpleasant ride.
For many causes, there are ways to prevent red eyes from occurring in the first place. For example, taking a break from your computer screen every now and again, ensuring your body has everything it needs dietarily and making sure you are hydrated and well-rested will all help keep redness at bay. But, sometimes things are out of your control. Aspects like allergies to commonly encountered triggers like pollen, dust mites, pet dander and other illnesses make avoiding red eyes impossible.
When red eyes do happen, there’s no need to freak out. There are a number of effective over-the-counter treatments for red eyes depending on the cause. From directly applying drops to your eyes to applying a cold press for the itchiness, swelling and discomfort, take a look through our guide to getting rid of red eyes and find the right way to treat your bloodshot peepers.
1. Use Eye Drops Made for Red Eye Relief
If you’re in need of clear, de-reddened eyes, using eye drops is a fast-acting and effective way to get there. These Bausch & Lomb Lumify Redness Reliever Eye Drops will start working to remove redness in under one minute and keep your eyes that way for up to eight hours. The unique formula is only recently available over the counter and contains no harmful dyes or bleaches. You can use these drops up to four times a day to help ensure your eyes remain blood vessel-free and beautiful throughout.
2. Apply a Hot/Cold Compress for External Relief
BEST FOR PUFFY EYES
In addition to redness, puffiness around the eyes can also cause discomfort and an unwanted appearance. This excess fluid accumulation can be the result of a number of factors, including allergies and salt consumption. Luckily, it’s relatively easy to deal with. Apply a mask, like this Thrive Eye Mask, and within minutes you’ll feel the swelling start to subside. In addition, these masks are a great way to provide relief for a number of other common conditions, like migraines and headaches, and they can even provide therapeutic relaxation through the alternative warming option.
3. Utilize Antihistamine Eye Drops
BEST FOR ALLERGIES
If you already know allergies are the cause of your red eyes, then choosing an answer made specifically for the problem is the best option. These Zaditor Antihistamine Eye Drops provide fast relief in minutes from allergy-induced red and itchy eyes. One drop of these over-the-counter eye drops can last up to 12 hours, and the formula is free from vasoconstrictors. In addition, direct application into the eyes ensures the treatment works faster than other oral medications.
4. Use Artificial Tears
BEST FOR MILDLY DRY EYES
When you can feel the dryness in your eyes, whether it’s as a result of too long staring at a screen, contact lenses or just a particularly dry weather day, giving your eyes a little boost with some artificial tears will restore some comfort. The Refresh Optive Advanced are clinically proven to provide relief for dryness, burning and general irritation. This bottle includes a formula which works on three levels and is specifically designed to prevent your natural tear production from evaporating and running dry. These drops are also safe to use as much as you need, so repeated application is never an issue.
5. Look Into Vitamin Supplements
BEST FOR CHRONICALLY RED EYES
Some people are just born with redder eyes than others. If that’s the case for you, or you just want to give your eyes a regular boost of what they need to stay in top condition, it’s worth looking at adding a vitamin supplement into your diet. These Physician’s Choice Areds 2 Eye Vitamins are doctor-formulated and made to minimize the effects of eye strain and dryness as well as maintain eye health. Inside each capsule, you’ll find a range of vitamins to support your eyes, including lutein, zeaxanthin and other award-winning ingredients.
6. Take Flaxseed Oil
BEST NATURAL TREATMENT
There’s evidence to suggest adding a natural supplement to your diet may improve the natural oils around your tear film, which in turn may have a positive effect on dry eyes. Flaxseed oil, like Nature Made Organic Flaxseed Oil, is full of an omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). In addition to potential benefits for your eyes, these natural oils may also provide support for cardiovascular health and cellular function, too.
7. Hydrate With a Humidifier
BEST FOR EXTREMELY DRY EYES
The time of year and the environment you find yourself in can have a large bearing on the moisture levels in your eyes. When dryness peaks, either due to the air or health factors, adding a humidifier into the equation can provide some relief. This Pure Enrichment MistAire Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier comes with more than 7500 five-star reviews on Amazon and boasts ultrasonic cool mist technology.
It safely moisturizes the air continuously for up to 16 hours, helping to provide a moisture-filled environment and relieve your dried out peepers. The design is highly portable, making it easy to move around the house, and the included, optional night light adds an extra dimension for nights when your dry eyes are preventing comfortable sleep.