Help someone with useful health advice.

Bloodshot Eyes and High Blood Pressure

Bloodshot Eyes and High Blood Pressure

What is the exact relation between red eyes and high blood pressure? How does high blood pressure lead to bloodshot eyes? Here is an attempt to resolve the above queries and learn about other causes of bloodshot eyes and remedies for the same.
Dr. Sumaiya Khan
Myth: Modern contact lenses do not cause bloodshot eyes.

Fact: Although the latest contact lenses are better than earlier designs, they don't prevent your eyes from getting bloodshot.

Bloodshot eyes, also known as red eyes, is a condition in which the blood vessels in the sclera (white of the eye) dilate or swell, and appear red. It may occur due to many reasons, including illnesses, injury, etc. Sometimes, it can also occur due to a systemic condition or disease. The connection between bloodshot eyes and high blood pressure is indisputable. If left untreated, this could eventually lead to severe consequences that could culminate in permanent loss of vision.
Bloodshot Eyes Due to Hypertension
Constant red blotches on the sclera may indicate hypertension. It causes blood vessels to expand, or sometimes even burst, leaving red patches on the sclera. A subconjunctival hemorrhage is also considered to be the leading cause of bloodshot eyes.
A subconjunctival hemorrhage is a condition in which there is bleeding below the conjunctival layer. The conjunctiva contains many small and fragile blood vessels that can easily get ruptured. When this happens, the blood tends to leak into the space between the conjunctiva and the sclera. A subconjunctival hemorrhage may occur due to any kind of physical trauma to the eye as well. However, when it occurs due to high blood pressure, it indicates that the force with which the blood is flowing in the fragile capillaries is beyond the capacity of the lining cells. This results in ruptured capillaries, which further leads to leakage of blood and bloodshot eyes. This condition is normally self-limiting, although the person must try to bring down his blood pressure as soon as possible, to rule out the chances of any permanent damage to the eye.
It is essential to get in touch with an eye specialist if you have red eyes because if the redness is due to high blood pressure and if it is left untreated, a severe condition called hypertensive retinopathy may occur. As the name suggests, this is a condition in which blood vessels in the retina are severely damaged when the blood pressure is really high. If the blood pressure is high and it remains high for a long time, it may cause severe damage to the eye. Many people don't experience any symptoms until the last stages, in which they may experience double vision, headache, sudden loss of vision, etc.
Home Remedies for Bloodshot Eyes
The most important thing to do to get rid of the redness in the eyes is bringing down the blood pressure at the earliest. It can be done by taking hypertension medications. By lowering the blood pressure, the redness should disappear. However, if the redness still persists, then one may use the following home remedies to deal with bloodshot eyes:
  • Taking vitamin A and vitamin B complex capsules may help to restore vision, as it is an essential vitamin for proper vision.
  • Eat spinach and take lutein, as it contains carotenoid, which is needed for normal functioning of the retina and eye tissue.
  • Use raspberry leaves to make tea, and when cool, soak a piece of cotton and apply it to the eye.
  • Take Ginkgo biloba, as it increases the oxygen that is available to the eye.
Other Causes of Bloodshot Eyes
There are many other causes for bloodshot eyes. This condition can occur due to hyperemia of the superficial blood vessels of the conjunctiva, sclera, or the episclera. It can also be caused due to other diseases and disorders as well, including:
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Blepharitis
  • Uveitis
  • Corneal Ulcer
  • Glaucoma
  • Injury
  • Dry Eye Syndrome
  • Stress
  • Dust
  • Dry Air
  • Allergies
  • Excessive Exposure to the Sun

Rubbing and touching the eyes constantly will only aggravate the condition. Rubbing may increase redness, while touching may cause the dirt and dust particles to scratch your eyeball. Hence, avoid these things, and above all, if the environment is the cause, change your location for a few days.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only and does not, in any way, intend to replace the advice of a medical professional.