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Why are my eyes red?

My eyes look red and bloodshot but don't itch or feel irritated. I've never worn contact lenses or anything so I don't know why this is going on. Why are my eyes so red?
If these symptoms have been going on for a while and are not improving, you should go to see your primary care doctor. They will be able to help figure out what is going on and make recommendations for treatment. By far the most common cause of red bloodshot eyes in people who don't where contact lenses are eye allergies, known as allergic conjunctivitis. Although the eyes often itch, they may not. There is sometimes accompanying nasal allergies, characterized by sneezing or nasal congestion. The causes of eye allergies are numerous, but common ones include mold, mites, and pollen. Your doctor will be able to prescribe eye drops or other allergy medications for you if this turns out to be the diagnosis. Mechanical irritation of the eyes from small particles in the air (dirt, dust, smoke) is also common in some occupations and also in runners and others who spend a lot of time outside. This usually responds to wearing protective eyewear and using rewetting drops or artificial tears. Occasionally, eye redness may be the result of an eye infection known as conjunctivitis and, very rarely, because of a more serious eye problem. Start by seeing your primary care doctor!
This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.
If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under ZocDoc’s Terms of Service.
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  • Boston Children's Hospital
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