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Eye Redness

Last updated: May 5, 2019

What Does Eye Redness Mean?

Eye redness is a symptom that could indicate a number of issues, including:

  • Exposure to chemical irritants
  • Eye abrasion
  • Poor indoor air quality (the presence of pollutants or low humidity)
  • Eye strain
  • Allergies
  • Infection
  • Dry-eye syndrome

In most cases, only the superficial epithelium of the cornea is damaged. Permanent damage could occur, however, if the Bowman's membrane beneath it is damaged.

If eye redness results from an injury to the eye, the employee should be evaluated by a medical professional.

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Safeopedia Explains Eye Redness

Eye injuries are a common workplace hazard. The risk can be especially high when work tasks put the worker's eyes at risk of exposure to hazardous chemicals or impact injury. In these cases, wearing the right protective eyewear is the primary defense against causes of redness.

Not every case of eye redness can be dealt with or prevented by using personal protective equipment, however. Workplace air quality monitoring, for instance, is an important step in combating eye redness and its attendant discomforts, especially for workers in enclosed spaces.

Redness of the eyes can also be caused by eye strain from working too long at a computer screen or video terminal. This can be addressed in a number of ways, such as improved work station design, adequate lighting, and taking regular breaks.


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