When to see a doctor

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Occasional, brief periods of red eye are usually no cause for worry. But persistent red eye, especially when accompanied by eye pain or vision changes, can signal a more serious problem.

Seek immediate medical attention if red eye is accompanied by:

  • Vision loss
  • Severe headache, eye pain, nausea or unusual sensitivity to bright light
  • Inability to open your eye or keep your eye open
  • A sensation that there's something in your eye

For persistent red eye that doesn't clear up after several days, especially if you have a thick or nearly continuous pus or mucous discharge, contact your doctor for an appointment.

Mar. 02, 2013