The best eye drop for red eyes

Allergies usually bring plenty of annoying symptoms, and for some people, red itchy eyes are the absolute worst. If you're tired of rubbing at them all day or hate the way your bloodshot eyes look, eye drops specifically designed to treat red eyes can be a lifesaver. These drops typically work by reducing swelling in your eyes' blood vessels. Once the swelling is gone, your eyes lose the red or pink color. Some eye drops for red eyes contain a lubricant that helps soothe dryness and irritation, too. Explore our buying guide to learn how to choose the best eye drops for red eyes. We've even included a few specific product recommendations like our top choice,

LUMIFY Redness Reliever Eye Drops

, which can treat red eyes in a matter of minutes while providing results that last all day.

Considerations when choosing eye drops for red eyes

Red eye causes

When you're shopping for eye drops for red eyes, you must consider the cause of your red eyes to be sure that over-the-counter drops can address the issue. Allergies are the most common culprit because both seasonal and year-round allergies can cause red itchy eyes. Seasonal allergies typically strike at certain times of the year when pollen and spores are released by flowers, trees, and other natural plants and molds. Year-round allergies are usually triggered by things like dust, dander, perfume, smoke, and air pollution. Some people experience red eyes due to chronic dry-eye syndrome, which can be caused by a variety of factors, including aging, hormonal fluctuations, sun exposure, wind or cold, low humidity, contact lenses, heavy reading, or using laptops, phones, tablets, and other devices with screens for long periods. If you have chronic dry-eye syndrome, it's important that the red eye drops you choose also contain lubrication to help soothe and hydrate your eyes.


If you have other health issues or are taking other medications, you should always check with a doctor before using

eye drops for red eyes

to ensure there are no adverse interactions you need to worry about. It's especially important to check if you have glaucoma, heart disease, high blood pressure, or a thyroid condition. Individuals with an eye injury or infection should also consult with a doctor before using red eye drops.


Bottle size

Eye drops for red eyes are available in a few different size bottles that are all measured in milliliters. You can usually choose from 0.25-, 0.5-, 0.7-, and 0.8-ml bottles, which are either squeeze bottle containers or medicine dropper-style bottles.


Like many over-the-counter medicines, eye drops for red eyes are not meant to be used indefinitely. If you use the drops for longer than the recommended period, it can result in making the redness worse. Read the manufacturer's guidelines for usage to be sure you know how long it's safe to apply the drops.


Not all eye drops are formulated to alleviate the same symptoms. Be sure that any drops you choose are specifically designed to treat redness by reading the packaging carefully. Some drops may only offer lubrication. These are usually known as artificial tears, which may be able to alleviate redness by treating the irritation causing it. However, they're not specifically formulated for redness removal, so they won't be effective in all cases. Some drops are designed to remove redness and provide lubrication, which many users prefer.


Eye drops for red eyes generally range from $2 to more than $18. Small bottles of lower-quality drops that only treat redness may cost between $2 and $5. Those that mainly treat redness and are more potent usually cost between $5 and $10. Those that treat redness and lubricate the eyes typically range from $10 to more than $18.


Q. Are drops for red eyes safe?


Eye drops are usually safe if you don't have any other eye conditions and refrain from overusing them. You should never use them for more than 72 consecutive hours. In general, it's best to save the drops for special occasions, such as before an important work meeting or a party where you'll be posing for photos.

Q. When do I need to see a doctor if I have red eyes?


Red eyes are often a sign of temporary irritation or fatigue that's usually not any cause for concern. But you should see an ophthalmologist if your eyes suddenly become red, are red for more than 72 hours, or you're experiencing blurry vision or eye pain. You should also see a doctor if you've suffered an eye injury or have any discharge from your eyes.

Eye drops for red eyes we recommend

Best of the best:

LUMIFY Redness Reliever Eye Drops

Our take:

Quick-acting highly-effective eye drops that treat redness due to a variety of causes.

What we like:

Can be used for redness related to multiple factors, including fatigue, dryness, allergies, and contact lenses. Also work for rebound redness caused by other eye drops. Often take only one minute to work, but the results can last for eight hours.

What we dislike:

Doesn't lubricate the eyes.

Best bang for your buck:

Rohto Cool Max Maximum Redness Relief Cooling Eye Drops

Our take:

Provides relief for a variety of eye issues in addition to redness at an attractive price point.

What we like:

Doesn't only treat redness but also helps relieve and prevent itchy eyes. Top closes securely to prevent leaks. Includes three bottles in each set. Provides a cooling sensation that helps soothe the eyes.

What we dislike:

Can sting slightly upon initial application.

Choice 3:

Visine Advanced Redness + Irritation Relief

Our take:

Fast-acting effective eye drops from a trusted name in the industry.

What we like:

Puts an end to redness and dryness almost instantly. Drops don't sting when applied, so ideal for sensitive eyes. Works well if you need treatment for eye irritants like dust or chlorine. Has a soothing feeling when applied.

What we dislike:

Only includes one single small bottle, so the drops don't last long.

Jennifer Blair is a writer for


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