If occasional red eyes weren’t a cause for at least cosmetic (and sometimes medical) concern, the best-known over-the-counter eye drop brand wouldn’t have created 10 different products to relieve the symptoms.
There are many reasons your eyes may appear bloodshot, some of which are cause for concern, most of which are not. It may be smoking too much weed, but it might be something else more concerning!
Here are the top 10 reasons your eyes may be red (and one more). Even if you are smoking weed, you might want to get them checked out. But if these medical reasons aren’t the issue, don’t let the fact that your eyes get red stop you if you need to buy medical marijuana in Canada.
Top 10 Reasons for Bloodshot Eyes
Top of the list is conjunctivitis, commonly known as pink eye. Inflammation of the transparent membrane that covers the whites of your eyes and lines your upper and lower eyelids can be caused by an incompletely opened tear duct, allergies, or, most commonly, viral or bacterial infection. While pink eye looks horribly painful, it’s not, and it’s easily treated.
Creating a new human takes a toll on almost every part of a woman’s body, and changes in both blood insulin levels and blood pressure can cause red eyes. The hormonal changes that happen during gestation can affect your vision, so make sure you discuss any visual changes with your OB/GYN and/or optometrist as part of regular prenatal care.
3. Smoking Tobacco
We all know smoking tobacco is harmful. Tobacco’s effect on your eyes is not as well known as its effect on your lungs. Tobacco smokers are at higher risk of developing cataracts and macular degeneration, a disease that causes blind spots in your central vision and can lead to a complete loss of sight. Even being in a smoky room can cause red eyes. If you’re sensitive to tobacco smoke, avoid it whenever possible.
4. Not Enough Shut-Eye
Lack of sleep can give you both dark circles and red, dry, irritated eyes. Try to make sure you get enough zees. Don’t listen to people who say, “I can sleep when I’m dead.” You’ll enjoy your life a lot more if you’re well-rested and aren’t dragging yourself through your days.
If you aren’t getting enough sleep, cannabis can definitely help. There are several potent strains of premium cannabis that can help you get enough sleep at night.
Hay fever sufferers can spend the better part of a month every year with itchy, watery red eyes and swollen eyelids as the body sends antibodies to combat allergens. But dust, pet dander, and even feather allergies can also cause red eyes. Try to eliminate potential allergens from your life, and if you have seasonal allergies, invest not only in antihistamines but also in over-the-counter eye drops to make yourself more comfortable.
6. Non-eye Viruses
Some people know they’re getting a cold or flu when one or both of their eyes get red. It can, for some people, be the first symptom to appear. If you’re one of those people, take it as an early warning sign that you’re contagious, up your Vitamin C consumption to alleviate symptoms, and try not to spread it to everyone you know. Minimize your chances of getting the flu by getting the annual vaccine.
7. Digital Eye Strain
It wasn’t long after computers became standard business tools that we became aware of digital eye strain, which results from staring at screens for the better part of our days (and nights).
Whether you’re working too hard or playing too hard in the darkness of your home gaming room, inadequate lighting, screens that are too close, and even poor posture combine to create digital eye strain or computer vision syndrome. This can cause headaches, eye strain, and eye dryness that leads to redness.
The best solution is to get away from the screen. Roll up a powerful indica, chill out on the couch and relax. Turn that screen off for a few hours at night, and really let your eyes relax.
8. Eye Injuries
These range from minor to major, including squeezing lemons too enthusiastically or being just a little careless when washing your hair. It’s not just smoke that gets in your eyes. Chemical exposures can cause red eyes, as can any type of bump or blow. Blood vessels may burst or the eye may react to chemical irritants by sending more blood to the affected area. Touching your eye after doing something as innocuous as rubbing peppermint lotion on your feet can cause eye redness and irritation. Try to touch your eyes as little as possible, wash your hands often, and if rinsing with water doesn’t help quickly, consult your doctor, who will refer you to a specialist if necessary.
9. Dry Eyes
Even if you aren’t smoking a pre-rolled joint, are your eyes still red? When the simple but intricate balance between tear generation and flow is interrupted, your eyes can become dry, then red. Tears, which contain water, oils, mucus, and infection-deterring antibodies, are what keep your eyes comfortable. Switching on either the furnace or the air conditioner can temporarily cause dry eyes, as can some medications, the aging process, and diseases like rheumatoid arthritis.
Try to determine the cause of your eye irritation if you’re otherwise healthy, read potential medication side effects and consult your pharmacist, and if you can’t get relief with over the counter drugs or by increasing the humidity level in your home or workplace, see your doctor if your eyes are always dry and irritated.
While swimming in a chlorinated pool will give you almost instant red eyes, so will swimming in freshwater, especially if you open your eyes underwater. Even chlorine fumes can cause eye redness. You’re basically interfering with your eyes’ natural moisture balance. Wear goggles or a mask and if you swim a lot, rinsing your eyes with water and investing in some lubricating eye drops will help.
But Why Does Smoking Weed Give You Red Eyes?
The current consensus is that THC, the thing that makes smoking weed fun, causes red eyes in many people. While smoking initially causes a rise in blood pressure, it drops quite quickly 10 or 15 minutes after smoking.
This makes the blood vessels and capillaries throughout your body dilate. Increased blood flow in eye capillaries is what causes red eyes. The good news: this may be helpful in treating one of the symptoms of glaucoma, although the drop in intraocular pressure only lasts about four hours.
It’s not just smoking cannabis that contains THC that causes red eyes though: consuming high THC-content weed by vaping or consuming edibles can have the same effect. If you know your eyes are healthy and this only happens when you get high, invest in some eye drops and some dark glasses and don’t worry about your red eyes. After all, cannabis is legal in Canada now. And people who need it for medicinal reasons have been able to buy medical marijuana in Canada for almost two decades now.