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What are some treatments for red eyes?

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Quick Answer

Treatments for red eyes include artificial tears, a cold compress and antihistamine eye drops, according to Dr. Troy Bedinghaus for About.com. Vasoconstrictor eye drops may also help to treat red eyes.

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Full Answer

Many times, eyes turn red because of dryness, and this often occurs with burning, itching or even a gritty sensation, states Dr. Bedinghaus. Artificial tears help to lubricate the eyes, are available in drug stores and come under many brand names. It is best to use artificial tears every hour for six hours, and then four times each day for a week. A cold compress is also an option for people who have red eyes, as the coldness helps to constrict the blood vessels in the eyes. An individual can apply a cold compress to a closed eye for five to 10 minutes, a few times each day.

If red eyes appear due to allergies, over-the-counter antihistamine eye drops can help, explains Dr. Bedinghaus. Brands such as Opcon-A contain antihistamine to control the itching and medications that reduce redness. These are short-acting, so it is best to take them up to four times a day. Vasoconstrictors are eye drops that help to remove the redness as they cause the blood vessels to shrink. A person must use these drops up to two times a day for a couple of weeks.

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