Bloodshot eyes develop for many reasons, including allergies, lack of sleep or a crying spell. No matter the cause, bloodshot eyes turn puffy and red, and it often feels like they're way too dry. The redness will eventually go away by itself, but if you're headed to work or an important event and need a fix now, a variety of remedies can help you get rid of the redness and inflammation fast.
Hold a cold compress over your eyes for 15 minutes. If you don't have a cold compress, use a bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a wash cloth or a couple of chilled cucumber slices. This shrinks enlarged blood vessels, making them less noticeable. It works well if your eyes are red because of allergies.
How to Reduce Eye Redness
Apply a warm compress, such as a washcloth heated with warm water, if your bloodshot eyes were caused by a lack of sleep.
Squirt lubricating eye drops into each bloodshot eye. Products labeled "natural tears" work well, and they're gentle on your eyes. Avoid frequently using drops that promise to remove redness, if possible. Repeated use of these products might eventually make bloodshot eyes worse 1.
How to Stop Watery Eyes
Pat a small amount of 1-percent hydrocortisone cream on your eyelids and under-eye skin. The cream helps reduce puffiness and inflammation.
- Hold a cold compress over your eyes for 15 minutes.
- Pat a small amount of 1-percent hydrocortisone cream on your eyelids and under-eye skin.
Run a humidifier when you're at home. A humidifier adds moisture to the air, so your eyes stay hydrated.
Drink eight glasses of water or more per day. This gives your body the hydration it needs to ward off inflammation.
Avoid smoking or going near second-hand smoke when you have bloodshot eyes. Cigarette smoke will irritate your eyes.
Your diet can help prevent bloodshot eyes. To avoid inflammation, eat foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, tuna and flaxseed oil. Foods high in riboflavin may also help. These include asparagus, milk, cheese, broccoli, spinach and yogurt.
If allergies cause your bloodshot eyes, ask your doctor about taking an antihistamine to ease the redness.
- Run a humidifier when you're at home.
- Avoid smoking or going near second-hand smoke when you have bloodshot eyes.
How to Reduce Eye Redness
How to Stop Watery Eyes
How to Treat Swollen Eyes In the Morning
Yellow Bags Under Eyes
How to Get Rid of Dark Undereye Circles From Allergies
Can You Use Preparation H for Dark Under-Eye Circles?
How to Get Rid of Swollen Eyes Due to Crying
How to Cleanse Your Eye of Concrete Dust
Home Remedies for Dark & Dry Skin Around the Eyes
How to Get Rid of Eye Pimples
- Men's Health: How Can I Get Rid of Bloodshot Eyes?
- Oprah.com: Quick Makeup Fixes For Post-Cry Eyes
- Sheppard AL, Wolffsohn JS. Digital eye strain: prevalence, measurement and amelioration. BMJ Open Ophthalmol. 2018;3(1):e000146. doi:10.1136/bmjophth-2018-000146
- Javadi MA, Feizi S. Dry eye syndrome. J Ophthalmic Vis Res. 2011;6(3):192-8.
- Solano D, Czyz CN. Viral Conjunctivitis. StatPearls Publishing. Updated November 18, 2018.
- Putnam CM. Diagnosis and management of blepharitis: an optometrist's perspective. Clin Optom (Auckl). 2016;8:71-78. doi:10.2147/OPTO.S84795
- Duplechain A, Conrady CD, Patel BC, Baker S. Uveitis. StatPearls Publishing. Updated June 3, 2019.
- Shimizu A, Maruyama K, Yokoyama Y, Tsuda S, Ryu M, Nakazawa T. Characteristics of uveitic glaucoma and evaluation of its surgical treatment. Clin Ophthalmol. 2014;8:2383-9. doi:10.2147/OPTH.S72383
- Mclaurin E, Cavet ME, Gomes PJ, Ciolino JB. Brimonidine Ophthalmic Solution 0.025% for Reduction of Ocular Redness: A Randomized Clinical Trial. Optom Vis Sci. 2018;95(3):264-271. doi:10.1097/OPX.0000000000001182
- Hazlett L, Suvas S, Mcclellan S, Ekanayaka S. Challenges of corneal infections. Expert Rev Ophthalmol. 2016;11(4):285-297. doi:10.1080/17469899.2016.1203254
- Sahinoglu-keskek N, Cevher S, Ergin A. Analysis of subconjunctival hemorrhage. Pak J Med Sci. 2013;29(1):132-4. doi:10.12669/pjms.291.2802
- Petsas A, Chapman G, Stewart R. Acute angle closure glaucoma - A potential blind spot in critical care. J Intensive Care Soc. 2017;18(3):244-246. doi:10.1177/1751143717701946
- Salama A, Elsheikh A, Alweis R. Is this a worrisome red eye? Episcleritis in the primary care setting. J Community Hosp Intern Med Perspect. 2018;8(1):46-48. doi:10.1080/20009666.2017.1418110
- Yenerel NM, Küçümen RB. Pregnancy and the Eye. Turk J Ophthalmol. 2015;45(5):213-219. doi:10.4274/tjo.43815
- Portello JK, Rosenfield M, Chu CA. Blink rate, incomplete blinks and computer vision syndrome. Optom Vis Sci. 2013;90(5):482-7. doi:10.1097/OPX.0b013e31828f09a7
- Talhout R, Schulz T, Florek E, Van benthem J, Wester P, Opperhuizen A. Hazardous compounds in tobacco smoke. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2011;8(2):613-28. doi:10.3390/ijerph8020613
- Vella LD, Cameron-smith D. Alcohol, athletic performance and recovery. Nutrients. 2010;2(8):781-9. doi:10.3390/nu2080781
- 1.Wu, Brian. "Red eyes: List of common causes." Medical News Today, 4 Mar 2017.
- 2. Chaudhary, Omar R, MD. "What causes red eye?" Eyesmart, American Academy of Ophthalmology, 17 June 2015.
Melissa King began writing in 2001. She spent three years writing for her local newspaper, "The Colt," writing editorials, news stories, product reviews and entertainment pieces. She is also the owner and operator of Howbert Freelance Writing. King holds an Associate of Arts in communications from Tarrant County College.