ZocdocAnswersHow do I get rid of the red lines in my eyes?

Question

How do I get rid of the red lines in my eyes?

I've noticed that the white part of my eyes contains multiple bright red squiggly lines. I've tried what I thought to be simple remedies of getting a consistent good night's sleep and adding eye drops to keep my eyes moist and reduce irritation. I've noticed that while taking close-up pictures or looking closely in the mirror, they are very noticeable and make me feel self-conscious. I'd like to get rid of them completely, if that's even possible. What causes the little red lines in the white portion of my eyes, and how can I reduce their appearance or eliminate them altogether?

Answer

It sounds like this is a relatively new change in the appearance of the 'whites' of your eyes (also called the conjunctiva). There are many things that can make this part of the eye appear red, including bleeding, trauma, irritation, infection, or even some medications (or drugs, like marijuana). It is important to make sure that you don't have any underlying medical issues that are causing this change to your eyes, and certainly it is never good to feel self-conscious about one's appearance as you currently do. In your case, the best thing to do is to see an eye doctor for a full eye exam as soon as possible. He or she can examine your eyes using special lights and a machine called a slit lamp to make sure that there aren't any dangerous problems causing these changes. It will be important to make sure your vision is still intact, and if necessary your doctor can use special dilating drops to look at the back of your eye. Hopefully there will be a solution to this problem, and if it turns out to be a purely cosmetic issue and not a problem with your eyes, then an eye doctor can let you know if there is a safe way to try and minimize these lines.

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.