Now accepting Telehealth appointments. Schedule a virtual visit.

When You Need an Opthamalogist for Red Eyes

Pink or red eyes may look alarming, but they’re not always a sign of a serious problem. In fact, often, they’re caused by something as simple as a cold or allergy. Other times, though, reddish or pinkish eyes are a symptom of an underlying medical problem.

It can be hard to tell the difference between a “benign” cause and a serious cause on your own, which is why it’s important to know when red eyes need a doctor’s attention.

At Advanced Eye Center in Hialeah, Florida, Rodrigo Belalcazar, MD, uses advanced techniques to diagnose the causes of red eyes, providing patient-centered treatment to relieve symptoms and prevent more serious complications. If you have red eyes, here’s what you should know.

Why eyes can look red

Red eyes happen when the tiny blood vessels in the sclera (the white part of the eye) become irritated and dilated, causing the sclera to look pinkish. Sometimes, individual vessels can be more visible, too, and create a “bloodshot” look. 

In addition to “benign” causes, such as colds, allergies, or exposure to smoke or dust, more serious underlying problems can also make your eyes look red, such as the following:

Dry eye syndrome

Dry eye syndrome is one of the most common causes of red eyes, and though it might not sound like a serious eye problem, without proper treatment, dry eye syndrome can increase your risk of developing serious eye infections. 

Digital eye strain

Many people develop red eyes from using their computers or phones too much. When we use computers or other electronics, we don’t blink as much, and that can lead to irritation and dry eyes. Lighted screens can also cause our eyes to continually refocus, which can increase eye strain and irritation.


Eye infections happen when harmful pathogens enter the eye. Infections can occur in any part of the eye, as well as in the lining of the eyelids. Many eye infections cause eye redness, including conjunctivitis, which is also called “pink eye.” 


In glaucoma, interior eye pressure rises, and without prompt care, it can damage the optic nerve and cause vision loss. Sometimes, blood vessels in the eye can also become dilated and cause a red or bloodshot appearance.


Inflammation can also cause the blood vessels in your eyes to dilate. When your eyes are inflamed, it’s a sign of an underlying eye problem, such as an infection, eye injury, or autoimmune disease. 

Contact lens wear

Contact lenses can be a great alternative to glasses. But sometimes, contacts can irritate your eyes and cause redness, burning, itching, or a combination of these symptoms. Contact lenses can even irritate or scratch your corneas, which can increase your risk for developing serious eye infections.

When to see the eye doctor

You should always call Dr. Belalcazar if eye redness is accompanied by other symptoms, such as the following:

You should also call the office if you have chronic or recurrent red eyes, or if your eyes stay red for more than a couple days. Delaying treatment could allow an underlying problem to become worse, and it could even threaten your vision.

Don’t let red eyes go untreated. Get the care you need by booking an appointment online or over the phone with Advanced Eye Center today.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Common Signs of a Corneal Ulcer

Corneal ulcers are tiny sores that form in the clear covering of the eye, and without prompt medical treatment, they can cause permanent loss of vision. Knowing these common signs can help you get treatment right away.

What to Expect From Cataract Surgery

Every year, millions of Americans have cataract surgery to restore their vision. If you have cataracts and you’re wondering what cataract surgery and recovery are like, we have the answers.

How Do Dermal Fillers Work?

Do you ever look in the mirror and feel like your parent or grandparent is looking back at you? There’s a good chance dermal fillers can fix that. Here’s how filler injections can help you look more youthful and less worn out.

Seeing Halos? Schedule a Glaucoma Evaluation

If you see halos when you look at a light source, you need to have your eyes checked right away. This could indicate that you have glaucoma, which is a serious eye disease that can result in vision loss. Read on to learn more.

5 Benefits of Skin Tightening

You might think sagging, wrinkled skin is an inescapable part of aging, but you’d be wrong! The innovative Plexr® system uses plasma technology to tighten skin, and no surgery is involved. Here are five reasons you should consider Plexr.