Read below about redness around the eye, including causes and common questions. Or get a personalized analysis of your redness around the eye from our A.I. health assistant. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

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A.I. Health Assistant Causes for Redness Around the Eye

Updated on Aug. 29, 2018

The list below shows results from the use of our A.I. Health Assistant by Buoy users who experienced redness around the eye. This list does not constitute medical advice.

  1. 1.Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis)

    Eczema is a form of skin inflammation that causes skin to be dry, itchy, red, and irritated.

    This is a long-term, recurring condition but symptoms are manageable with care.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    trouble sleeping, feeling itchy or tingling all over, dry skin, scalp itchiness, flexor surface rash
    Symptoms that never occur with eczema (atopic dermatitis):
    fever
    Urgency:
    Phone call or in-person visit
  2. 2.Inflamed Eyelid (Blepharitis)

    Blepharitis is an eyelid issue where the skin, lashes, or glands become inflamed from an irritant or infection.

    Treatment and preventative measures may successfully control blepharitis.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    eye itch, sensitivity to light, eye redness, feeling of something in the eye, dry eyes
    Symptoms that never occur with inflamed eyelid (blepharitis):
    severe eye pain
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  3. 3.Irritant Contact Dermatitis

    Contact dermatitis is a condition in which the skin becomes red, sore, or inflamed after direct contact with a substance. This condition most often affects skin of the hands, and may occur after repeated and prolonged exposure to substances such as water, detergents (soaps, bleach), solvents (such as gasoline), acids, powders, dust, and soil. The onset of the skin reaction is usually within 48 hours of coming in contact with the substance.

    1-2 days.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    rash with well-defined border, itchy rash, red or pink, rough patch of skin, painful rash, red rash
    Symptoms that always occur with irritant contact dermatitis:
    rash with well-defined border
    Symptoms that never occur with irritant contact dermatitis:
    fever, black-colored skin changes, brown-colored skin changes, blue-colored skin changes
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment

    Redness Around the Eye Checker

    Take a quiz to find out why you’re having redness around the eye.

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  4. 4.Stye and Chalazion

    A stye (or hordeolum) is an infection in the upper or lower eyelid. There are three glands around the eye and one of them is infected.

    If left untreated, the stye generally heals in 1-2 weeks.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    swelling of one eyelid, redness around the eye, feeling of something in the eye, eyelid lump, eyelid pain
    Symptoms that always occur with stye and chalazion:
    swelling of one eyelid
    Symptoms that never occur with stye and chalazion:
    fever
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  5. 5.Shingles (Herpes Zoster)

    Shingles (herpes zoster) is a disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus - the same virus that causes chickenpox. Early signs of shingles include burning or shooting pain and tingling or itching, usually on one side of the body or face. Rashes or blisters appear anywhere from one to 14 days later. If shingles appears on the face, it may affect vision or hearing.

    An episode usually lasts 2-4 weeks.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    symptoms of infection, dizziness, fatigue, rash, diarrhea
    Symptoms that always occur with shingles (herpes zoster):
    grouped rash, rash
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  6. 6.Orbital Cellulitis

    Orbital cellulitis is a serious infection of the bony cavity (the orbit) which holds the eyeball. This condition affects the eye, eyelids, eyebrows, and cheeks, and causes the eyeball to have a swollen appearance. It can cause blindness if the infection is not treated.

    Antibiotic treatment for 3 weeks.

    Rarity:
    Ultra rare
    Top Symptoms:
    fever, blurry vision, swelling of one eye, swelling of one eyelid, eye skin changes
    Symptoms that always occur with orbital cellulitis:
    eye skin changes, blurry vision
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room

FAQs About Redness Around the Eye

Here are some frequently asked questions about redness around the eye.

What causes redness around the eye with discharge?

Redness around the eye with discharge can be caused by allergic reactions, infections, or injury to the eye. Pink eye, or conjunctivitis, is caused by allergies or infections. Other symptoms that might point toward an eye infection include decreased vision or pain in the eye.

Why is my eye dry and itchy?

Dry and itchy eyes can be caused by inadequate tear production or accelerated tear evaporation. Decreased tear production may be caused by aging, medical conditions such as lupus (SLE) or Sjogren's syndrome, or medications such as antihistamines. Accelerated tear evaporation can be caused by exposure to wind or dry air. Alternatively, it can be caused by less frequent blinking, which can occur when driving or watching television.

Do allergies cause redness around the eye?

Yes, certain allergies can cause pink eye or conjunctivitis, where the white part of the eyes (sclera) appear red. Other allergy-related eye symptoms include itchiness, watery eyes, and eyelid-swelling. Eye allergies can be caused by substances in your environment or by eye drops or artificial tears.

Can pink eye spread to the other eye?

Yes, pink eye or conjunctivitis is most commonly caused by viral or bacterial infection of the eye and can be spread from one eye to the other. This can occur if you rub your infected eye and then your uninfected eye without washing your hands in between.

Is pink eye contagious?

Yes, pink eye is contagious if it is caused by a bacteria or virus. It can be spread when an uninfected person touches something — such as a tissue or towel — that had been touched or used by an infected individual. Pink eye can also be spread by swimming in contaminated water. Alternatively, allergic conjunctivitis is not contagious.

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Redness Around the Eye

  • Q.Any fever today or during the last week?
  • Q.Do you have a stuffy nose?
  • Q.Did you possibly brush into poison ivy, poison oak, or poison sumac?
  • Q.Do you have dry eyes?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, try our redness around the eye symptom checker to find out more.

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Redness Around the Eye Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced redness around the eye have also experienced:

    • 6% Eye Redness
    • 5% Swelling of the Eye Area
    • 4% Eye Pain
  • People who have experienced redness around the eye were most often matched with:

    • 50% Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis)
    • 25% Inflamed Eyelid (Blepharitis)
    • 25% Irritant Contact Dermatitis
  • Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

A.I. Health Assistant

Take a quiz to find out why you’re having redness around the eye

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