Why have I got red eyes?

If you have woken up with redness in your eyes, as well as being unsightly, it can often be the sign of infection, but with many differing reasons to be found on a general Internet search, it is hard to tell just what is happening. Here is the Specs123 guide to what could be the cause.

A burst blood vessel.

More common than you think, a burst blood vessel is a fairly usual occurrence that normally indicates nothing serious.

Caused by injury or simply pressure from something like coughing, a burst blood vessel will usually heal on its own, lessening in its appearance as it goes.


Conjunctivitis is an unpleasant condition of the eye where there is tell-tale imitation caused by infection or something in the atmosphere. The eye can feel sore and gritty and produces a sticky substance which can crust the eye making it difficult to open.

Good levels of hygiene and cleaning the eye are usually enough to clear things up within a few days and there is usually no other underlying cause.


Glaucoma is an eye condition that need specialist treatment. Symptoms can include redness and cloudy vision due to the optic nerve being damaged. This can often occur in later life.

If you suffer from glaucoma, you will be referred to an ophthalmologist for treatment.

A particle in the eye.

Due to the eye structure, foreign items can get in to the eye, from grit to make-up, insects and more. As we rub to encourage the item to come out of the eye, this can cause scratching and damage.

Minor items will exit the eye area quite easily with the eye naturally watering to encourage the item to leave, but if there is something more troublesome, it is recommended that you visit your local A&E department where they are used to dealing with such occurrences.

Ulcers on the cornea.

Often caused by wearing contact lenses as well as people who are prone to cold sores, corneal ulcers not only make the eye red, but make the sufferer feel sensitive to light.

Caused by bacteria in the eye or viral infections, ulcers have to be dealt with by specialists so you will be referred to your local hospital.