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Why Are My Eyes Red When I Wake Up: Causes and Care Tips 

Gina Walters



You may have noticed red, bloodshot eyes in the mirror sometimes when you wake up in the morning.

Your eyes may appear bloodshot in the morning because of allergies or Dry Eyes. 

However, red eyes can occasionally indicate a more serious issue, such as an injury or infection.

You may wonder, “ Why are my eyes red when I wake up?”

Red eyes upon awakening could be an early indicator of significant eye conditions that might affect your eyesight.

This article will look into the causes of morning red eyes and discuss prevention strategies.

Why are my eyes so red when I wake up

Red eyes occur when the eye’s white part appears pink or bloodshot due to irritation.

Waking up with red eyes can be attributed to factors that affect eye health and overall well-being.

Dry Eyes are a common factor that causes red eyes, where reduced tear production can cause discomfort.

Other causes of red eyes in the morning include: 

Computer Vision Syndrome in some individuals is caused by excessive screen usage before bedtime.

Aside from these minor causes, some serious eye conditions may result in red eyes in the morning.  

Glaucoma, Keratitis, Sleep Apnea, and Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye) are significant eye disorders.

It is important to seek medical assistance for red eyes to avoid potential risks and side effects. 

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How to get rid of red eyes after waking up

Eye redness (viral pink eye symptom)Source: dtimiraos_from_Getty_Images
A Closeup of a red eye

It is essential to incorporate certain strategies for red eyes, especially when one eye is affected. 

For contact lens wearers, it is essential to always remove contact lenses before sleeping. 

Minimize screen time at night, especially a few hours before sleeping, due to the blue light emitted by electronic devices. 

Exposure to blue light in the evening can disrupt circadian rhythms, making it more challenging to fall asleep and negatively impacting the quality of sleep.

Maintaining proper hygiene, such as washing hands before touching your eyes, may help relieve red eyes. 

Cold compresses can reduce inflammation, especially if red eyes are accompanied by swelling. 

If redness continues or is severe, consult a professional to identify and address underlying causes.

Contact lens wearers experiencing red eyes in the morning should discontinue lens use and seek advice from an eye care professional to prevent complications.

How to treat morning red eyes

Medications prescribed by healthcare professionals may help treat the root cause of red eyes. 

Cyclosporine (Restasis) is an anti-inflammatory medication commonly prescribed for red eyes caused by Dry Eyes. 

Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug (NSAID) eye drops are often prescribed for various eye conditions characterized by inflammation and eye pain.

It is essential to consult a healthcare professional before using any red-eye medication.

Medical examinations are essential to diagnose and treat any underlying medical condition. 

Did you know:
Aging can contribute to reduced tear production, making older individuals more prone to morning red eyes.

Summing up

Red eyes in the morning is a symptom that may indicate any underlying medical condition.

You may wonder, “Why are my eyes red when I wake up?”

Morning eye redness can be caused by nerve swelling induced by Dry Eyes, eye strain, or allergies.

Proper hygiene and limiting screen time may help eliminate red eyes in the morning. 

Anti-inflammatory medications and NSAID eye drops are prescribed for underlying eye conditions. 

It is essential to consult a healthcare professional to diagnose the eye condition behind red eyes properly.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What causes red eyes when you wake up?

 Red eyes upon waking can result from various factors, including dryness, allergies, or nocturnal eye irritation. 
Lack of moisture during sleep, allergens in bedding, or underlying eye conditions may contribute. 
Consultation with an eye care professional is recommended for persistent symptoms.

Is it normal to wake up with red eyes? 

Occasional red eyes upon waking may be normal due to factors like dryness or temporary irritation. 
However, persistent redness may signal an underlying issue, and consulting with an eye care professional is advisable.

Can screen time before sleep contribute to red eyes?

Yes, prolonged screen time before sleep can contribute to red eyes. 
The blue light emitted from screens may cause eye strain and disrupt sleep patterns, leading to morning redness.

Why is my right eye red when I wake up?

Upon waking, redness in your right eye could be due to dryness, allergies, or irritation during sleep. 
Consider using artificial tears, maintaining eye hygiene, and consulting a doctor if the redness persists.

Are there specific eye conditions causing morning redness?

Conditions like Dry Eye syndrome, Viral Pink Eye, or blepharitis can contribute to morning redness. 
Identifying the specific eye condition is crucial for appropriate treatment. 
Consultation with an eye care professional ensures an accurate diagnosis and tailored management plan.

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