What are the Causes and Symptoms of Red Eyes in the Morning?

Red Eyes in the Morning

Red eyes in the morning occur from a number of reasons. If the symptom occurs on its own it can be because of stress. If it is accompanied by other signs, it can be due to an infection. Treatment is usually highly dependent on the cause of the problem.

Also referred to a ‘Blood Shot Eyes’, this symptom is caused by the enlargement of the blood vessels in the sclera making them more pronounced.

Most of the time, bloodshot eyes are pain free, but they can also be painful or irritated.

Red Eyes in the Morning Causes

Some of the possible causes of red eyes in the morning include the following:

  • Fatigue, not getting enough sleep can lead to red eyes and feeling tired in the morning.

  • Eye strain, this can occur prior to sleep and may be caused by watching TV from a wrong angle, reading in the wrong light, or staring into a computer screen for a long time.

  • Alcohol intake, alcohol intake before going to bed or a few minutes before bed can lead to dehydration, which can cause dry and red eyes.

  • Dry Eye Syndrome, people with chronically dry eyes are going to have red eyes on waking up.

  • Irritants, mascara and other cosmetics can irritate the eye area. Be careful about cleaning the skin near the eyes and make sure that no irritating residue remains before sleeping.

  • Tight sleep masks, people who wear sleep masks may find red eyes when they make up. This could cause red eyes, it is recommended to try using a different mask to see if there is any difference.

  • Allergies, allergy flare-ups during the morning can lead to red, watery, and itchy eyes. Sneezing and a runny nose may also be present.

  • Conjunctivitis, this can be bacterial or viral. It is usually accompanied by itching and excessive tearing. Crusting can occur during the night and patients may observe a thick yellowish or greenish discharge from the eyes.

Red Eyes in the Morning Symptoms

Red eyes usually occur on their own with no other symptoms, but in some instances they can occur with the following:

  • Itching

  • Watery eyes

  • Swelling of the surrounding eye area

These signs could indicate the presence of an infection and will not go away unless mediated by therapy.


  • Sleep at least 7.5 or 9 hours every night.

  • Avoid drinking too much alcohol.

  • Avoid irritating or rubbing the eyes when waking up.

  • Remove all makeup with a gentle facial wash before bed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *