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Red Eyes Specialist

Pacific Eye

Ophthalmologists & Optometrists located on the Central Coast of California

If you have persistent red eyes, despite sleeping well at night, it’s time to have one of the ocular specialists at Pacific Eye, with offices in San Luis Obispo, Lompoc, Paso Robles, Pismo Beach, and Santa Maria, California, as well as Optical Concepts in Santa Maria, take a look. Red eyes aren’t a condition, but a symptom of something else such as uveitis, which is why medical counsel is the best course of action. Call or schedule an appointment online today.

Red Eyes Q & A

What are the primary causes of red eyes?

There are any number of reasons why your eyes may be red, from a late night out to spring allergies. Red eyes are a result of the dilation of the tiny blood vessels located in your conjunctiva, which can be caused by:

  • Dry eyes
  • Allergies or environmental irritants
  • Conjunctivitis (pinkeye)
  • An injury to your eye
  • Eye fatigue
  • Glaucoma
  • Recent eye surgery
  • Corneal ulcer
  • Uveitis

While some of the culprits behind red eyes aren’t terribly serious, many are and have the ability to create larger problems down the road if you don’t seek medical intervention.

What is uveitis?

In the simplest of terms, uveitis is an inflammation in the middle tissue in your eye called the uvea, which is primarily responsible for providing blood flow to your retina. Uveitis can come on fairly quickly, and its primary symptom is red eyes, often accompanied by:

  • Pain
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Vision problems, such as blurriness
  • Floating spots in your vision

There are many different types of uveitis, depending on the area of uvea that’s affected, but they all lead to the same thing: inflammation of your vitreous, the jelly-like substance in the middle of your eye. This inflammation, if not treated, can lead to serious complications, including:

  • Glaucoma
  • Cataracts
  • Damage to your optic nerve
  • Retinal detachment

These complications can cause irreversible vision loss, which is why it’s important to seek treatment at Pacific Eye at the first sign of a problem, namely red eyes.

How are red eyes treated?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question as it depends entirely on the source of the problem. For example, if dry eyes are responsible for the redness in your eyes, your eye specialist works with you to clear up the dry eyes. By the same token, if allergies are causing your eyes to appear red, you and your ophthalmologist can figure out what your eyes are reacting to and come up with an appropriate plan.

For more serious problems, like uveitis, your ophthalmologist may recommend:

  • Anti-inflammatory medications, such as a corticosteroid
  • Antibiotics or antiviral medications
  • Immunosuppressive medications

If your uveitis doesn’t respond to these more conservative treatments, your doctor may recommend a more aggressive approach to safeguard your vision, including a vitrectomy to remove some of your vitreous.

If you’d like to get to the bottom of your red eyes, call Pacific Eye or schedule an appointment online today.