How to Treat Red Eyes at Home

Are you suffering from red, sore eyes? You don’t have to suffer in silence. Discover home remedies and ways to ease your red eye symptoms.

Quick facts: Treating Red Eyes At Home

  • ✅ Cool compresses can reduce discomfort from red eyes and help reduce inflammation – Mayo Clinic
  • ✅ Artificial tear drops can be used to moisturize and soothe red eyes at home – American Academy of Ophthalmology
  • ✅ Warm compresses help break up clogged oils in the eyes which can cause redness – American Optometric Association
  • ✅ Tea bags can help reduce inflammation and redness when used as a compress – Harvard Health
  • ✅ Over-the-counter antihistamines can reduce redness caused by allergies – WebMD

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Causes of Red Eyes

Red eyes can be a symptom of several underlying conditions, including conjunctivitis or blepharitis. They can also be caused by allergies, eye strain, or dryness. Red eyes can be very uncomfortable, so it is important to understand the cause in order to treat them effectively.


Allergies are one of the most common causes of red eyes. Allergic conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the conjunctiva (the thin, clear membrane that covers the white part of your eye and the inside of your eyelids) caused by an allergic reaction to pollen, dust mites, animal dander, or other allergens. Symptoms may include itchy, watery eyes; a burning sensation; redness in one or both eyes; and swollen eyelids.

Allergies can be treated with over-the-counter antihistamines and eye drops that contain antihistamines or mast cell stabilizers. If symptoms persist or worsen, you should see your doctor for further evaluation and treatment.

Eye infection

Eye infections are a common cause of red eyes. These infections can be bacterial or viral, and are often contagious, so it’s important to see a doctor if you suspect an infection. Bacterial infections typically cause the white area of your eye to turn red, whereas viral infections may cause redness in both the white and colored parts of your eye.

Other signs that you may have an infection include:

  • Crusty eyelids
  • Tearing or discharge from the eye
  • Swelling around the eyes
  • Extreme sensitivity to light
  • Blurred vision

If you experience any of these symptoms along with red eyes, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Dry eyes

Dry eyes, also known as “dry eye syndrome” is a common cause of red and irritated eyes. It occurs when your eyes do not produce enough tears to lubricate the eye, or when the tears evaporate too quickly. Dry eye syndrome is often associated with symptoms such as burning sensation, itching, blurry vision, and sensitivity to light.

To treat dry eyes at home, you can use artificial tears or lubricating eye drops. Additionally, try to reduce time spent exposed to air conditioning and cold temperatures as these can contribute to dry eyes. Reduce screen time as much as possible and take regular breaks from it if you experience dry eye symptoms when using digital screens. Refrain from sleeping with your contacts in and moisturize your skin around the eyes with a gentle facial cream. If all else fails, visit your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment options for dry eyes.

Self-Care Tips

Red eyes can be annoying and uncomfortable, but you don’t always need to go to the doctor to get relief. There are several self-care tips you can try at home to help treat your red eyes.

Here are some suggestions that might help:

  • Use artificial tears or lubricating eye drops.
  • Apply a cold compress to your eyes.
  • Avoid using contact lenses.
  • Avoid rubbing your eyes.
  • Wear sunglasses when outside.
  • Get plenty of rest.

Use lubricating eye drops

Using lubricating eye drops is one of the best ways to treat red eyes at home. By using artificial tears or a preservative-free lubricant, the eye is able to soothe the irritation and restore any lost moisture. Red eyes are often caused by dryness or inflammation, so adding additional moisture can help alleviate these issues quickly and easily. To learn more about eye infection treatment at home, read on.

Eye drops can also be used to flush out any potential irritants such as dust or pollen, which can cause redness. Be sure to follow all instructions for use carefully and always check with your doctor if you have any concerns.

Lubricating eye drops are not only an effective self-care tip for treating red eyes but they are also cost-effective and easy to use at home.

Use a cold compress

A cold compress is one of the most effective ways to treat red and irritated eyes. To make a cold compress, use a clean washcloth or paper towel and soak it in cold water. Squeeze the excess water from the cloth, then place the cold compress on your eyes for up to 10 minutes. When you’re finished, throw out the cloth and make a new one for future use. This can be done multiple times throughout the day if needed.

Cold compresses reduce inflammation and help reduce redness while providing relief from irritation and itchiness. If you find they work well for you, keep them handy so that you always have access to them when needed.

Avoid rubbing your eyes

It can be tempting to rub your eyes when they are feeling itchy or irritated, but this is the worst thing you can do. Rubbing your eyes can further irritate them and spread the redness.

It’s also important to be aware of what you touch. Not only should you avoid rubbing or touching your eyes directly, but you should also take care to avoid transferring dirt, bacteria, and allergens from your hands to your eyes—as this may further worsen any red eye condition you have.

Additionally, ensure that any cosmetics used around the eye area are hypoallergenic (free from known allergens) and substituted for a new product if irritation occurs.

Avoid wearing contact lenses

One of the best ways to treat red eyes at home is to avoid wearing your contact lenses. Contacts can easily irritate your eyes and exacerbate the redness. Additionally, any contact lens solution may contain preservatives or other irritants that can contribute to eye irritation and redness. Therefore, it is important to take a break from contact lenses, and try wearing glasses instead.

If this isn’t an option for you, make sure that you always use new and sterile solutions for your contacts – never using old solutions which may have bacterial buildup. Additionally, if your contacts are causing persistent irritation, try switching to a different brand or type of lenses as different materials can have different levels of comfort for different people.

When to See a Doctor

While many cases of red eyes can be treated at home with self-care measures, it is important to know when to seek professional medical advice. Unfortunately, some conditions that cause red eyes can lead to serious complications if left untreated. Therefore, it is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of when it is time to see a doctor.

Seek medical attention if symptoms persist

If the redness in your eyes persists for more than a few days or causes severe pain, it is important to seek medical attention from an optometrist or ophthalmologist. More severe symptoms may require a visit to an emergency room for immediate care, such as if you have a fever or discharge coming out of the eye.

Your doctor will be able to diagnose and treat any underlying causes of your eye redness, such as infection, allergies, physical injury, etc. Prompt diagnosis and treatment are important in order to avoid complications and further damage to your eyesight.

In addition to assessing the cause of redness in the eyes, your doctor may also recommend self-care measures such as:

  • Using artificial tears.
  • Using cold compresses.

Seek medical attention if eyes become painful or swollen

If your red eyes become painful or swollen, it’s important to seek medical attention. This could indicate a more serious underlying condition, and you should see your doctor as soon as possible.

Your doctor will assess your eyes and look for causes such as an allergic reaction, infection, or an inflammation of the cornea. Treatment that may be recommended could range from drops for dry eyes to corticosteroid eye drops for an infection.

If the underlying condition is caused by an allergy or irritation from something in the environment, such as dust or pet dander, your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes to reduce exposure and provide relief.

Seek medical attention if vision is affected

If you are experiencing red eyes along with vision trouble such as blurry vision, sensitivity to light, or eye pain, then it is important to seek medical attention right away. Vision problems can be indicative of a more serious underlying condition, such as an infection or inflammation of the eye.

Additionally, if your red eyes are accompanied by a high fever or severe headaches then it is important to consult a doctor immediately.

Also, if you have tried self-treatment methods for your red eyes and observed no improvement within several days then it would be best to see a doctor as soon as possible for further evaluation and treatment. It can also be wise to seek medical care if the self-treatment remedies caused increased symptoms.

Home Remedies

Red eyes are a common condition that can be caused by a variety of factors, such as allergies, infections, and fatigue. Fortunately, there are several home remedies that can help reduce the symptoms of red eyes and bring relief to the affected person.

Here, we will discuss some of the most effective home remedies for treating red eyes:

Tea bags

Using tea bags for treating red eyes is a popular, simple home remedy. Tea contains anti-inflammatory properties that help to reduce redness and swelling, making it an effective remedy for treating the symptoms of irritated eyes.

To use this remedy:

  1. Steep one or two tea bags in a cup of hot water for five minutes and then allow to cool.
  2. Once the tea has cooled, place the tea bags over your closed eyes and allow them to rest there until they become cold.
  3. You may also cover them with a damp cloth which will help keep the area cool as well as promote healing.
  4. Repeat as needed until symptoms subside.

Cucumber slices

One of the most popular home remedies to treat red eyes is using cucumber slices. Cucumber slices are cooling, which helps reduce puffiness and swelling in the eye area. Additionally, cucumbers are rich in antioxidants and hydrate the skin around the eyes.

To use cucumber slices for treating red eyes, simply cut up a cucumber into thin slices and place them over your closed eyelids or the affected area for 10–15 minutes. The chilled cucumbers can help soothe inflammation and reduce swelling while also helping to hydrate and tone your skin.

Additionally, you can also use other chilled items such as:

  • Potato slices
  • Cold tea bags
  • Icy spoons

to reduce irritation and redness.


Honey is often used in home remedies to prevent and treat eye problems, specifically red eyes caused by bacteria. Honey contains antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties, and antimicrobial properties that can help reduce inflammation and fight bacterial infection while also promoting overall health.

As a healing remedy, honey can also be used to soothe the redness of the eye and alleviate any discomfort. To use honey as a home remedy for red eyes, first rub some honey on your finger or a cotton swab. Then gently dab it on the surface of your affected eye with gentle circular motions for 1 to 2 minutes. Finally rinse your eye with clean water, and do this two times a day for best results.

Castor oil

Castor oil is a natural home remedy that has long been utilized to treat red eyes. This oil lubricates and hastens healing, making it a popular solution for relieving redness and eyestrain.

To use castor oil as a home remedy, place two drops of the oil in each eye. Once you’ve added the drops, gently close your eyes and press lightly on the inner corner of your eye with your finger for 15 minutes. Repeat this process three times per day until symptoms subside.

Additionally, you can also create a compress with one drop of castor oil and warm water in order to reduce inflammation caused by redness. Soak a cotton swab or small cloth in the mixture before laying it over your closed eyelids for 10 minutes per day until symptoms improve.


Precaution is the best way to prevent the occurrence of red eyes. To avoid this condition, you should take steps to protect your eyes from irritants and allergens. Wearing sunglasses and hats with brims when outdoors can help protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Avoiding irritants such as chlorine and smoke can also help keep your eyes healthy.

Let’s look at some other preventive measures you can take:

  • Wear protective eyewear when participating in sports or activities.
  • Avoid rubbing your eyes.
  • Keep your hands clean.
  • Avoid wearing contact lenses for extended periods of time.
  • Use artificial tears to keep your eyes moist.
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet.
  • Get regular eye exams.

Wear sunglasses

Wearing sunglasses is an effective way to help prevent red eyes. Sunglasses shield your eyes from the sun’s UV rays and help keep them hydrated. Look for wraparound frames that block light from the sides and top, and avoid tinted lenses which may cause further irritation. When possible, wear sunglasses that filter out both UVA and UVB rays.

Additionally, pay attention to the environment when outdoors; try to avoid bright lights, smoke, dust, pollen, and other environmental factors that can cause eye irritation. Finally, take breaks from activities such as reading or using your computer screen which can cause digital eye strain.

Wash your hands frequently

Washing your hands is one of the most important steps when trying to remedy red eyes. This is because germs and bacteria are easily transferred from person-to-person, and can easily be spread from contact with the eyes. Whenever you come into contact with someone or something that could potentially have been contaminated, make sure to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds using warm water and soap.

Additionally, when cleaning or treating your own eyes, it’s important to make sure your hands are clean in order to avoid any further contamination of the area.

Avoid touching your eyes

One of the most important prevention tips for red eyes is to avoid touching them. Touching your eyes can increase the risk of introducing an infection or further aggravating an existing one. Additionally, if you use eye makeup, it’s important to clean brushes and applicators regularly, as bacteria can accumulate and then be transferred to your eyes causing an infection.

Avoid wearing contacts while experiencing eye irritation and always use your hands to remove them from the eye area. It’s also important to avoid rubbing the eyes, as this could further irritate or damage the delicate skin around the eyeball. It’s also a good idea to make sure you are getting enough rest, eating a balanced diet, using a good quality eye care products and avoiding direct contact with potential allergens like dust and pollen.

FAQs about: Treating Red Eyes At Home

Q: What are the symptoms of red eyes?
A: Symptoms of red eyes can include redness, irritation, pain, and a feeling of having something in your eye.

Q: Are there home remedies for red eyes?
A: Yes, some home remedies for red eyes include using a cold compress, artificial tears, eye drops, and avoiding irritants like smoke, dust, and chlorine.

Q: Does red eye require medical attention?
A: Yes, if red eye is accompanied by other symptoms such as fever, discharge or pain, then you should contact a doctor for medical attention.

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