Why Are My Eyes Bloodshot Suddenly?

Why Are My Eyes Bloodshot Suddenly?

Why Are My Eyes Bloodshot Suddenly?

Why Are My Eyes Bloodshot Suddenly?

Why Are My Eyes Bloodshot Suddenly?

December 29, 2022

Bloodshot eyes or redness of the eye can occur due to several causes. It may indicate an underlying condition, or some sort of trauma can cause it. While some are not harmful or worrisome, bloodshot eyes could sometimes be severe. Because of this, it is essential to identify what type of eye redness you are dealing with. 
One of the easiest ways to know if it is a severe condition is when your bloodshot eyes are accompanied by pain or changes in vision. If you have either of these, seek out an eye doctor immediately for diagnosis and treatment.
So, what are some of the common causes of sudden bloodshot eyes?



One of the common causes of sudden bloodshot eyes is a subconjunctival hemorrhage. It sounds serious, but it is usually harmless and resolves in a week or two. A subconjunctival hemorrhage occurs when a blood vessel in the eye ruptures or breaks. It starts leaking blood onto the surface of the eye, changing from white to red. It can occur due to intense sneezing or coughing, eye injury, rubbing your eyes too hard, or vomiting. Generally, it will resolve on its own, however, if it causes vision changes, you should see an eye doctor immediately.

Contact Lens


If you wear contact lenses, you may experience eye redness. It is common in contact lens wearers because they are prone to touching their eyes more frequently, contacts interfere with the eyes natural tear film, and solutions contain chemicals you may become allergic to. Because of this, contact wearers are at higher odds of developing bloodshot eyes.  
It is also easy for contact wearers to scratch the surface of their eyes or develop eye infections. These two are the leading causes of bloodshot eyes in contact lens wearers. See an eye doctor immediately if you experience sudden bloodshot eyes with pain, light sensitivity, or blurry vision.

Angle-closure Glaucoma


Another more serious case of sudden bloodshot eyes is angle-closure glaucoma. Glaucoma is a series of conditions that cause an increase in ocular pressure. The pressure damages the optic nerve, leading to blindness if untreated. 
Usually, the increase in eye pressure is slow and gradual. But in angle-closure glaucoma, the pressure increase is rapid. Other symptoms also manifest quickly. It occurs when the iris blocks the drainage of the ocular fluid. It is a dangerous condition and leads to vision loss in a short time if left untreated. You may experience intense pain, blurry vision, headache, vomiting or nausea, reduced vision, halos, or rainbows around lights. 

Eye Injury


Eye injuries to the structure of the eye may cause bleeding, redness, or minor irritation, depending on the cause and the type of injury. Eye injuries come with other symptoms like:

  • Decreased vision.

  • Eye pain.

  • Trouble moving your eye.

  • Swelling of the eye or its surrounding tissues.

  • Different pupil sizes.

  • Light sensitivity.

You can incur an eye injury from foreign objects, chemicals entering the eye, or physical trauma. 

Other Conditions That Can Cause Bloodshot Eyes

  • Marijuana or alcohol intake.

  • Photokeratitis.

  • Dry eyes.

  • Corneal ulcers.

  • Eyelid stye.

  • Scleritis.

  • Uveitis.

  • Blepharitis.

However, some of these conditions may develop gradually before presenting symptoms. Before you take or use any medicine to treat your bloodshot eyes, consult an eye doctor for an accurate diagnosis.
If you have or are concerned about bloodshot eyes, call East Main Vision Clinic at (253) 780-0700 to discuss your symptoms or schedule an appointment.

East Main Vision Clinic