Blood Shot Eyes When Working Out

After a workout you may notice that your eyes appear red or blood shot. This may occur for a number of reasons but, most commonly, as a result of dry eye or a broken blood vessel in the white of your eye. These conditions do not indicate a serious problem unless you experience sudden vision changes or severe pain. Knowing about these conditions will help you understand your eyes and may help you find a way to prevent redness in the future.

Concentration or straining could result in eye redness. Credit: Ibrakovic/iStock/Getty Images

Dry Eye

During a workout you may focus intently on your body position, instructor or other aspects of your workout -- and this intense concentration may result in fewer blinks which could lead to dry eye. A blink spreads tear film over the surface of your eyes, and the surface needs the tears for comfort and nourishment. If fewer blinks cause dry eye you may not only experience redness but you may have stinging, burning or fluctuating vision. Artificial tears will help soothe the surface of your eyes and this may help improve the blood shot appearance.

Broken Vessel

Exertion and straining during a workout could result in a broken blood vessel in the eye. This condition, called a subconjunctival hemorrhage, may cause a red area on the white of your eye. A broken blood vessel may cause a scratchy or dry sensation in the area of the hemorrhage, but many people have no discomfort whatsoever. You do not typically need to seek treatment for a broken blood vessel since, like a bruise, the redness will clear within a few days.


If you regularly experience blood shot eyes during a workout, you need to put in artificial tears prior to starting. This will give your eyes a good coat of tear film to begin. Between reps or at other appropriate times, blink a few times to help prevent dryness. Frequent broken blood vessels in the eye could indicate that you have high blood pressure or another condition causing the hemorrhages. You should contact your doctor for an evaluation -- controlling the underlying cause could help prevent further problems.


If you have symptoms, such as eye pain or vision changes that accompany your eye redness, you should contact your doctor. These symptoms may indicate a more serious condition that requires treatment.

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