Eye - Red Without Pus

Eye - Red Without Pus

Is this your symptom?

  • Redness or pinkness of the white part of the eye(s)
  • There may be increased tearing (watery eye)

Some Basics...

  • New blurry eyesight or loss of vision is almost always serious. A doctor's exam is needed right away.
  • Pain in the eye can also be serious. If eye pain is more than just mild irritation or discomfort, a doctor's exam is needed.

Causes

There are many possible causes of eye redness or "red eye." Some common minor causes are:

  • Allergies
  • Blepharitis
  • Mild irritants (sunscreen, soap, chlorinated pool water, smoke, or smog)
  • Virus such as a cold (also called pinkeye)
  • Wearing contacts too long

Other causes of eye redness are:

  • Abrasion (scratch) of cornea
  • Acute angle-closure glaucoma
  • Corneal ulcer
  • Eye injury
  • Episcleritis and scleritis
  • Glaucoma
  • Keratitis (inflammation of the cornea)
  • Subconjunctival hemorrhage (bleeding)
  • Uveitis (iritis, iridocyclitis)

When to Call for Eye - Red Without Pus

Call Doctor Now or Go to ER

  • Blurry eyesight
  • Eye pain or discomfort is more than mild
  • Eyelid is very red or very swollen
  • Cloudy spot or sore seen on the cornea (clear part of the eye)
  • Foreign body sensation ("feels like something is in the eye")
  • Recent eye surgery and eye pain is getting worse
  • You feel weak or very sick
  • You think you need to be seen, and the problem is urgent

Call Doctor Within 24 Hours

  • Eye pain or discomfort lasts more than 24 hours
  • Eye redness lasts more than 24 hours, and not from viral pinkeye
  • Eye redness from viral pinkeye lasts more than 7 days
  • Taking a blood thinner like Coumadin (warfarin) or have a bleeding disorder
  • You think you need to be seen, but the problem is not urgent

Call Doctor During Office Hours

  • Bright red patch (looks like blood) on white of the eye and no pain
  • You have other questions or concerns

Self Care at Home

  • Questions about pinkeye
  • Questions about eye redness caused by contact lens
  • Questions about eye redness caused by sunscreen, smoke, smog, chlorine, food, soap or other mild irritant

Care Advice for Eye Redness without Pus

Pinkeye

  1. What You Should Know:
    • Viral conjunctivitis is a common eye infection caused by a virus.
    • The main symptom is eye redness. The eye may also itch and feel irritated. Sometimes there can be some eye tearing or a white discharge.
    • It is more commonly called pinkeye (because the white of the eye is pink-red).
    • It can occur with a cold. It usually is not serious.
  2. Remove Contacts:
    • Take out your contacts. Switch to glasses until your eyes are better.
    • This will help prevent any harm to your eye.
    • Clean your contacts before wearing them again.
    • Throw away used contacts if they are meant to be thrown away.
  3. No Rubbing:
    • Do not rub your eye(s).
    • Rubbing your eye(s) can cause a scratch on your cornea.
  4. How It Is Spread:
    • Pinkeye is very easy to spread to other people. You can spread it by shaking hands.
    • Try not to touch your eyes.
    • Wash your hands often.
    • Do not share towels.
  5. What to Expect:
    • Most cases of viral pinkeye are mild.
    • It should get better in 7 to 10 days.
    • No antibiotic treatment is needed.
  6. Call Your Doctor If:
    • Yellow or green discharge or pus in the eye(s)
    • Blurred vision or increasing pain
    • Not getting better after 7 days
    • You think you need to be seen
    • You get worse

Eye Redness Caused by Contacts

  1. What You Should Know:
    • Eye redness may simply mean that you have left your contacts in too long.
    • Eye redness can also happen if the contacts do not fit well or if you are allergic to the contact lens solutions.
    • Sometimes eye redness can be the first sign of a more serious problem, like an infection.
    • Do not wear contacts when your eyes are red or irritated.
  2. No Rubbing:
    • Do not rub your eye(s).
    • Rubbing your eye(s) can cause a scratch on your cornea.
  3. Remove Contacts:
    • Take out your contacts. Switch to glasses until your eyes are better.
    • This will help prevent any harm to your eye.
    • Clean your contacts before wearing them again.
    • Throw away used contacts if they are meant to be thrown away.
  4. Expected Course:
    • The redness and irritation should go away over the next 12-24 hours.
    • If it does not, you will need an eye exam. The doctor will want to check for an infection, a corneal abrasion, or an ulcer.
  5. Call Your Doctor If:
    • Yellow or green discharge or pus in the eye(s)
    • Blurred vision or increasing pain
    • Eye symptoms are not getting better after 24 hours
    • You think you need to be seen
    • You get worse

Eye Redness Caused by Mild Irritants

  1. What You Should Know:
    • Eye irritation can be caused by even mild substances.
    • Some common causes are perfume, eye make-up, smoke, and contact lens cleaner.
    • The main symptoms are eye redness, swelling, watering, and pain.
  2. Wash Face:
    • Wash the face, then the eyelids, with a mild soap and water.
    • This will remove any chemicals or irritants.
    • Also try to avoid the irritant in the future.
  3. Rinse Out Eyes:
    • Rinse out your eyes with water for 2-3 minutes.
    • Slowly pour lukewarm water into your eye(s) from a pitcher or glass.
    • Or, put your head under a gently running faucet or shower.
    • Keep your eye open while you do this.
  4. Remove Contacts:
    • Take out your contacts. Switch to glasses until your eyes are better.
    • This will help prevent any harm to your eye.
    • Clean your contacts before wearing them again.
    • Throw away used contacts if they are meant to be thrown away.
  5. No Rubbing:
    • Do not rub your eye(s).
    • Rubbing your eye(s) can cause a scratch on your cornea.
  6. Expected Course:
    • The redness and irritation should go away over the next 12-24 hours.
    • If it does not, you will need an eye exam. The doctor will want to check for a corneal abrasion (scratch) or other problem.
  7. Call Your Doctor If:
    • Yellow or green discharge or pus in the eye(s)
    • Blurred vision or increasing pain
    • Eye symptoms not getting better after 24 hours
    • You think you need to be seen
    • You get worse

And remember, contact your doctor if you develop any of the 'Call Your Doctor' symptoms.

Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.


Last Reviewed: 12/13/2017 1:32:17 AM
Last Updated: 7/25/2017 1:11:56 AM

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