Red Rings Around the Eyes: Causes & Treatments

About Red Rings Around The Eyes:

It is quite common to just wake up in the morning and notice that the eyes are red and there are kind of red rings around the eyes. In most people, this becomes a cause of worry. Most of the patients go to their ophthalmologist with the same question as to what causes these red rings around the eyes. The medical term for these red rings is ciliary flush perilimbal abscess. There are numerous causes for it. These include age, allergies, and certain underlying medical conditions.[1,2,3]

In majority of the cases, the cause for the red rings around the eyes is benign and home remedies are sufficient to treat it. However, there are cases where medical attention is required. The underlying causes for the red rings around the eyes determine the treatment options.[1,2,3] This article highlights the causes and treatment options for red rings around the eyes.

What Causes Red Rings Around The Eyes And What Can Be Done About It?

Some of the causes of red rings around the eyes include

Contact Dermatitis: This is a variant of eczema that occurs when a person comes into contact with a substance that he or she is allergic to. This results in an overactive immune response resulting in a variety of symptoms. This at times may also affect the eyes causing red rings around it. Contact dermatitis is of two types, namely allergic and irritant contact dermatitis.[3]

Along with red rings around the eyes, a person with contact dermatitis may also experience rashes around the area of contact, itchiness of skin, dry skin, hives, and blisters. Various studies state that allergic contact dermatitis is one of the most common causes for red rings around the eyes. Irritant contact dermatitis may also cause red rings around the eyes when the person is exposed to chemical or other irritants like sunscreen, dust, or makeup products.[3]

Treatment: The best way to treat red rings around the eyes due to contact dermatitis is to place ice or cold packs around the affected area and the eyes. In severe cases steroid injections may have to be given. It should be mentioned here that a person should avoid applying any topical cream around the eyes unless directed by the physician.[3]

Age: This also at times causes red rings around the eyes. As a person ages, the skin around the eyes tends to sag thereby causing discoloration. This along with allergies and smoking can also contribute to red rings around the eyes. The normal process of ageing is one of the most benign causes of red rings around the eyes.[3]

Treatment: While the process of ageing cannot be stopped, a person can boost their eye health by wearing UV rays blocking sunglasses when out in the sun in hot weather conditions. They can stay away from smoking. They can eat a balanced and healthy diet. They should exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight. If they are diabetic and hypertensive then managing blood sugar and blood pressure is also important.[3]

Orbital Cellulitis: This is quite a common infection that causes red rings around the eyes. Orbital cellulitis affects the eye and the surrounding tissues. It can cause the eyes to become red along with swelling of the eyes. The person will also have fever and pain in the eyes. It can sometimes also cause blurred vision with pain when moving the eyes. If the condition is not treated on time then it may also cause blindness.[3]

Treatment: The best way to treat orbital cellulitis is by way of antibiotics. In rare cases, surgery may also need to be done to treat the condition.

Atopic Dermatitis: This is also quite a common cause for red rings around the eyes. This condition normally affects children above the age of 5 years. Atopic dermatitis is very rarely seen in adults but there have been some cases of it. Atopic dermatitis causes red rings around the eyes and makes the person vulnerable to eye infections. Other symptoms of atopic dermatitis include bumps, rashes, itching sensation, and irritation.[3]

Treatment: As of now, there is no cure for atopic dermatitis but treatments are available to control the symptoms. The best to manage the symptoms of atopic dermatitis is to take care of the skin carefully with moisturizing and cleaning it. It is necessary to avoid triggers that spark off a flare of atopic dermatitis. It is necessary to consult an ophthalmologist before applying any cream for the red rings around the eyes caused by atopic dermatitis.[3]

Blepharitis: Inflammation of the eyelids is medically termed as blepharitis. This generally occurs as a result of bacterial or viral infections. This also at times causes red rings around the eyes. Sometimes, a person with blepharitis can also observe dry flakes on the eyelashes resembling dandruff. Other symptoms of blepharitis include burning sensation around the eyes, watery eyes, dry eyes, swelling around the eyelids.[3]

Treatment: Blepharitis is best treated using home remedies. Cleaning the eyelids gently around the eyelashes and using a dandruff shampoo is quite beneficial. For people with dry eyes, artificial tears are quite effective. It is best to avoid eye makeup or contact lenses till the time the symptoms go away. It is also necessary to avoid touching the eyes at any time and even done accidentally the hands should immediately be washed with soap and water.[3]

In case if a person develop red rings around the eyes for no valid reason then it is best to consult with an ophthalmologist, especially if there are other symptoms present to get to the bottom of the cause and start treatment for it. It is also important to speak to the physician in case if the treatments are not effective or if the symptoms become worse for alternative treatments.[3]

In conclusion, it is quite common for person to have red rings around the eyes. There are numerous causes for it and most of them are benign and pose no threat to the vision of the person. However, some of the causes need prompt diagnosis and treatment, especially if they are associated with other symptoms, all of which have been mentioned above in detail.[1,2,3]

It is important for people with red rings around the eyes to contact their physician before applying any sort of ointment or eyedrops as a form of treatment for red rings around the eyes. In majority of the cases, normal course of aging and dermatitis are the causes of red rings around the eyes.[1,2,3]


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