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Treating bloodshot eyes

(KOMO file photo)

Bloodshot eyes are typically caused by some sort of infection or irritation. Whatever the reason, when you look in the mirror and see red, you may be tempted to reach for those eye drops that promise to get the red out.

Keep in mind: These drops don't deal with what's causing the problem. For example, they can't help with dry eyes. And if you use them too often, they could make things worse.

"In actuality they do get the red out because what they are vasoconstrictors, a chemical that causes the blood vessels to constrict. And so, your eyes don't look as red,” explained Dr. John Swartzberg, head of the editorial board at the UC Berkeley Wellness Letter.

But, these eye drops can sometimes aggravate the problem, he said.

“After you use these vasoconstrictors for a few days, your eyes become dependent on them and if you don't use them, your eyes get even more red,” Dr. Swartzberg told me.

Keep in mind, redness reducing eye drops are not the same as artificial tears. Artificial tears can help lubricate dry eyes.

More Info:

An Eye on Eye Drops

Bloodshot Eyes: Causes and Treatments

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