Eye Redness Relief

Many different causes of red, irritated eyes exist. A good deal of the causes are common, such as eye strain, allergies and not getting enough sleep. Go to the emergency room if you have experienced an eye injury, such as a sports-related one, or if have any abnormal symptoms including halos around lights, blurred vision or nausea. See your physician if you have any discharge or if redness persists for more than a couple of days. Most often red eyes can be treated at home quite easily.

Artificial Tears

Many times, redness is caused by dry eyes. Artificial tears, available over the counter at most drugstores, are safe and effective for adding moisture back on to the cornea. These can be used as often as needed. They are made from a simple salt solution that is much like natural tears. Apply several drops into the affected eye for instant relief.


Alternate applying cool and warm compresses to help provide relief for red eyes. Apply compresses for approximately 5 minutes at a time for a few times a day as needed. Cool compresses provide relief for tired eyes, reduce redness and can help reduce swelling. Warm compresses can help unplug tear ducts and help relieve irritation.

Medicated Drops

Some conditions require medicated eye drops. Pink eye or conjunctivitis is caused by bacteria or a virus in the membranes of the eye. This can cause itching, swelling, pain and redness. Your physician will prescribe an eye drop to help reduce the symptoms and kill the bacteria. Drops are used in both eyes to prevent the bacteria from spreading. Normal dosage is 2-3 drops, twice a day for approximately a week. Once the bacteria has been treated, the redness usually goes away with a few treatments.

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Over-the-Counter Drops

Many over-the-counter eye drops can be used to help reduce redness. These eye drops, such as Visine, work by shrinking the blood vessels in the eye. This helps the eye appear very white for a short period of time. Do not use these drops often (i.e., many times a day) because once the drops wear off, the condition is usually worse than it was before treatment, and there is a risk of dependency.


Lack of sleep is a common cause of red eyes. Get enough rest each night to prevent tired eyes the next day. A quick nap can help alleviate strain and redness.