Best Eye Drops For Red Eyes

Best Eye Drops for Red Eyes

Eye Drops For Redness

If you are you currently dealing with a red eye, you may have a number of questions running through your mind, such as:

  • How to get rid of red eye?
  • What causes red eye?
  • Is red eye contagious?
  • How to prevent red eye?
  • Best eyedrops for redness

What Causes Red Eyes?

Frequently, eye redness emerges when the blood vessels within the eye undergo inflammation, giving rise to the common description of "bloodshot." This inflammation typically arises from external irritants, with several common culprits being:

  • Prolonged wearing of contact lenses
  • Seasonal allergies (such as pollen)
  • Pet dander
  • Dry or windy weather
  • Dust
  • Mold
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Pool chemicals
  • Perfumes/colognes
  • Conjunctivitis 

Beyond exposure to such irritants, your eyes can also redden due to other factors, such as inadequate sleep, alcohol consumption, digital eye strain (also known as computer vision syndrome), pregnancy, specific systemic medical conditions, or even the excessive use of particular eye drops.

You may be tempted to use redness relief eye drops, but...


Popular "redness relief/decongestant" eye drops like Visine Eye Drops and Clear Eyes claim to remove the redness from your eyes, but they could be causing you more harm than good by temporarily fixing the issue of red eyes without actually addressing the underlining problems. They potentially make your dry, irritated eyes worse.

Visine Ingredients?

Any "redness relief eye drops" may contain any of the 3 active ingredients:

  1. Tetrahydrozoline 0.05%
  2. Naphazoline 0.012% to 0.03%
  3. Brimonidine 0.025%

How do these ingredients work?

They all work by physically constricting or shrinking blood vessels in the eye, thus achieving the immediate goal of reducing the redness of the eye.

To be more specific, they achieve this by reducing activity at the eye’s alpha-1 receptor. However, with prolonged and continuous usage, the phenomenon known as the "rebound redness effect" can actually become the default condition of the patient’s eyes, making the initial problem MUCH WORSE.

As a result, more and more of the drug is needed to achieve the same effect because the body is attempting to counter constant stimulation.

This cycle perpetuates itself 😱

Can you use redness relief eye drops with contacts?

No, you should not use redness relief eye drops with contacts lenses. Some eye drops contain ingredients that could potentially interact with the materials of the contact lenses or cause discomfort when combined with the lenses.

Wait at least 10 minutes before re-inserting contact lenses after use.

If you really have to...then try Lumify Eye Drops

Lumify Eye Drops

Lumify Eye Drops 

Lumify is a unique, FDA-approved formulation that uses brimonidine to selectively target redness. It works in just 60 seconds and lasts up to 8 hours for amazing-looking eyes.

Is Lumify Safe?

Lumify is the sole over-the-counter eye drop containing brimonidine. Brimonidine is a selective alpha-2 adrenergic agonist that operates by constricting the blood vessels in the eye. This reduction in redness in the whites of the eyes results in a whiter, brighter, and more radiant appearance.

Compared to other redness relievers, Lumify presents a lower risk of side effects. This advantage stems from the fact that brimonidine doesn't constrict blood vessels in other parts of the body. As a result, Lumify is less likely to induce side effects like dry eyes, blurred vision, and rebound redness.

Lumify is both safe and effective when employed as instructed. Clinical evidence supports its safety and effectiveness for a continuous usage period of up to 12 weeks. Small-scale studies have indicated that Lumify eye drops do not exhibit the same rebound redness effect observed in other redness relievers due to its action on a distinct receptor: alpha-2.

Who can use Lumify Eye Drops?

Lumify is for adults and children 5 years of age and older. It is not recommended for people with certain eye conditions, such as glaucoma or narrow-angle glaucoma.

How to use Lumify Eye Drops?

Adults and children 5 years of age and over: 

  1. Instil 1 drop in the affected eye(s) every 6-8 hours.
  2. Do not use more than 4-times daily.
  3. Remove contact lenses before use.
  4. Wait at least 10 minutes before re-inserting contact lenses after use.
  5. If using other eye drops while using Lumify, wait at least 5 minutes between each eye drop. 
  6. To avoid contamination, do not touch tip of container to any surface.

Lumify Eye Drops Side Effects

Due to the presence of benzalkonium chloride (BAK), a preservative that can potentially aggravate the eyes, we advise limiting the use of this product to occasional use only. It's worth noting that this product is not an artificial tear.

Red eyes typically manifest as a fleeting symptom caused by factors like eye irritation, fatigue, or a manageable eye infection such as pink eye. For mild cases, there exist home remedies for addressing bloodshot eyes. However, in certain instances, redness in the eyes could stem from a more significant ocular issue or condition, like uveitis or glaucoma.

When Should You Talk With Your Optometrist About Red Eyes?

To ensure the appropriate treatment for your red eyes, it's advisable to schedule a visit with your optometrist if:

  • Your eyes suddenly become red or bloodshot.
  • Your eyes remain consistently red.
  • You experience additional issues such as blurry vision, pain, or other forms of discomfort in your eyes.
  • You have sustained an injury to your eye.
  • There is a presence of sticky discharge emanating from your eyes.

By consulting your optometrist, you can ascertain the underlying cause of your red eyes and determine the most effective approach for their treatment.

Take home messages

💡 If you're seeking relief from dry eyes, make sure to opt for Lubricating Eye Drops rather than "redness relief eye drops." Lubricating eye drops are designed to moisturize and soothe the eyes, while redness relief eye drops primarily narrow the blood vessels.

💡 If you have a wedding or a big meeting coming up, go ahead and use a drop. But please don't make it a habit! 😊

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