Waking Up with Bloodshot Eyes: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

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Bloodshot eyes refer to the dilation of arteries and other small vessels visible on the surface of white of your eyeball. It creates a pattern of a spider web on the white of your eyeball and it is referred to as bloodshot eyes. The main cause of waking up with bloodshot eyes is that your eye was being exposed to dry air for a longer period of time during sleep. The Other cause may be that your eyes do not produce a sufficient amount of tears to keep the eye from drying.

Why Are You Waking Up With Bloodshot Eyes?

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Our eyes normally make tears that lubricate the eye but some people do have dry eyes which means low levels of tear production in their body. If you have an eye condition called blepharitis which causes oil glands in the eyelids to Clog and you will have dryness in your eyes.

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Some of the other causes while you wake up with bloodshot eyes may be that your eyelids are not completely closed while you were asleep. The opening of eyes caused redness and inflammation of eyes which ultimately lead to conditions of waking up with bloodshot eyes. A lot of treatment can help you to get rid of this condition when you visit your ophthalmologist.

Causes of Bloodshot Eyes

Too little sleep:

Lack of sleep may cause decreased amount of oxygen to reach inside your eyes and it causes the vessels in the eyes to swell dilated. Another cause is that your eyes were not properly shut while you were sleeping.

Pink eye:

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The pink eye is also called conjunctivitis which is triggered by bacterial or viral allergy and it causes scratches inside the eye.


When the pressure inside the eye increases it is called glaucoma and damages the optic nerve of the eye and as a result causes pain in eyes, blurred vision, and redness in the eyes.

Eye allergies:

A variety of allergic reactions makes the eyes blotchy kind of red. The allergies may be a reaction to pollen, pollen, animal dander, detergent, using contact lens for a longer period of time, and rubbing the eyes excessively.

Consuming a large quantity of alcohol:

Consuming too much alcohol will lead to redness in your eyes when you wake up the other day because alcohol causes small blood vessels dilation as it increases the amount of blood flowing through them.

Eye style:

It is a small bump that appears at the edge of your eyelid and the oil glands become clogged up. This will cause swelling and redness of the eye. Contact lens irritation: Wearing a contact lens for a longer period of time to decrease oxygen to reach your eyes and it will cause the bloodshot eyes subsequently.

Subconjunctival hemorrhage:

It occurs when a blood vessel on the eye surface breaks down and blood gets trapped inside it. It causes pain and redness of eyes.


The signs and symptoms of waking up with bloodshot eyes vary from person to person. It can occur in one eye and also can affect both of the eyes. The eye may be Red simply or other symptoms may be associated with it like

Watery eyes:

It is the most common symptom associated with redeyes.

Light sensitivity:

You may suffer hypersensitivity to light and some people may prevent going outside as the sunlight doesn’t let the eyes open.

Burning in the eyes:

You may suffer a burning sensation inside your eyes.


Irritation is the most common sign and symptom associated with red eyes.


Itching occurs as the eyes are dry and they trigger red eyes to cause itching.


Pain is the least common symptom associated with redeye but some people make experience it.

Discharge from eyes:

There may be a discharge from eye which may range from watery discharge to a pus fill discharge.

Blurred vision:

Waking up with bloodshot eyes
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Some people may experience blurring of vision.

Diagnosis For Waking Up With Bloodshot Eyes

The diagnosis of waking up with bloodshot eyes is clinical. No test is required until you are suffering from other eye conditions like blepharitis or conjunctivitis. Your doctor may sometimes take a sample of your discharge from the eye and test it to rule the cause of the discharge from the eye.

Your health care provider may rather prescribe you some tests for diagnosing other conditions associated with your red eyes.

Waking Up With Bloodshot Eyes Treatment

Following are the waking up Bloodshot Eyes Treatments:

Artificial Tears:

Artificial tears help to lubricate your eyes and keep them from drying. They may be prescribed by your health care provider as they provide you with artificial lubrication and they will stop the eye from getting red due to drying.

Warm Compresses:

Warm compresses will give you a soothing sensation if you eyes are associated with pain. You need to take a towel to warm it up and then put it on your eyes for about 5 to 10 minutes. The heat will cause an increase in blood supply to the area of the redness and also increases the sebum production by your eyelids. Your eyes will get lubricated as a result.

Change Contact Lens:

You need to change your contact lens as the material of lens you use irritates your eyes and it will increase the risk of your redness of eyes. Talk to your doctor and he may help you to select the best quality of contact lens so they will not irritate your eyes.

Cold Compresses:

The cool compresses are opposite to hot compressors. If you have tried out the hot compresses and they are not working, you should rather soak the towel in cold water and then keep it on the eyes to relieve the waking up with bloodshot eyes symptoms.

Dietary Changes:

You may need to pay attention to your diet. Stop eating processed foods, dairy products, and start to stay hydrated. You need to drink about 8 glasses of water daily. Try to eat food which contains antioxidants.


Waking up with bloodshot eyes is the condition which a person suffers once in his lifetime. If you suffer eye Pain, changes in your vision, and also some discharge from your eye, you may need to seek medical help so as to lessen the signs and symptoms.

Your doctor prescribes you the medications which help to relieve your symptoms.

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