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Are Your Red or Bloodshot Eyes Making You Less Attractive?

Red bloodshot eyes affect how others see you They say that the eyes are the window to the soul. They may also play a huge role in determining your attractiveness to others. Recent studies have shown that red and bloodshot eyes are often perceived as less attractive than white eyes.

What causes bloodshot eyes?
Red or bloodshot eyes are caused by swollen or dilated blood vessels in the eye. The white of the eye is also called the sclera. The sclera is a tough protective layer filled with blood vessels. When the tiny blood vessels in the eye become enlarged or congested with blood they can make the white of the eye appear red or pinkish. Sometimes this redness is only temporary and is due to irritation. In these cases the redness should disappear in 1-2 days. Other times it can be caused by more permanent conditions some of which require medical attention or treatment.

How are red eyes perceived?
While red eyes may just be minor irritation to your eye’s sclera they are perceived as less attractive than white eyes. Some people attribute red eyes with sadness and others attribute them to a lack of health. Recently a study was performed to determine how red eyes are perceived by others. This study was consisted of 208 volunteers, 93 were male and 115 were female. The volunteers had an average age of 20.6 years and were all students at the University of Maryland.

As a part of the study the volunteer students were shown 200 images of eyes. Half of the images were a normal, white colored sclera. In the other half of images the sclera was digitally manipulated to appear pinkish or red. For each image the volunteers were asked to describe how sad, healthy or attractive the person associated with each set of eyes would be. The results indicated a strong link that showed that in general people with red eyes are perceived to be more sad, less attractive and less healthy than people with white eyes.

Real life implications
This study shows how important the appearance of the eye is in determining overall attractiveness. Typically attraction is based on biological factors that indicate that a person is healthy and able to successfully reproduce. For example someone with clear skin might be seen as more attractive than someone with scarred skin since this may be an indicator of better overall health. The whiteness of the sclera also contributes to an overall healthier appearance. Reducing the redness in your eyes may make your more attractive to others.

Red eye treatment
Since attractiveness is a goal of many and very important especially for those on the dating scene, it is important to realize the impact that eyes play. If you have red eyes, treatment to reduce redness may increase your attractiveness. To determine how to best treat eye redness you must first determine the cause of the problem. Minor irritation to the eye may pass on its own in just a day or two. Other conditions may require treatment. Let’s look at some of the common causes of eye redness and the best methods for treating them.

Fatigue or eyestrain
Tired or strained eyes can appear red, even if nothing else is wrong with the eye. The best method of treatment is simply resting the eye and waiting for the redness to pass. Avoid touching or rubbing the eye since this can make the problem worse. Minor irritation from things like dust, pollen or dry air can also cause redness. In many cases resting the eye or using artificial tears will resolve the problem. Your eye care professional can help you determine the best way to combat eyestrain and fatigue.

Conjunctivitis or pink eye
Pink eye, or conjunctivitis, is an infection of the membrane that is found inside of the eyelid and on the surface of the eye. It is highly contagious and as the name implies makes the eye appear pink. If you have pink eye avoid touching your eye. It can easily spread from one eye to the other or to the eyes of others. You should also throw away any cosmetics, contact lenses or other products that have come in contact with the infected eye since they are likely contaminated. Also avoid using these products until your eye has cleared up. You may need to see a doctor for treatment. Warm and cool compresses applied to the eye may offer some relief to the discomfort that you experience.

If you experience redness for more than a couple of days or you experience eye pain or have discharge coming from the eye you should see your doctor. In many cases eye redness is temporary and not indicative of a problem, but it can be a symptom of something more serious, so don’t take it lightly.


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