I need help with red-eye reduction.

You know how most photo editing applications now come with a tool to reduce red eye? I’m afraid that won’t help me. My own red-eye problem is not due to a flash.

I noticed a smallish bright red spot on my eye some time this morning, and didn’t think anything more of it until this evening when Phoebe looked at me an exclaimed: “Your eye is really red!”

“Oh, right, I noticed that this morning,” I answered calmly, and we continued with other things.

Half an hour later or so, I walked into the bathroom to get Theo started on his bath. I glanced in the mirror, and holy crap was my eye red! This was no longer a little spot. Red was covering most of the visible white of my left eye.

Dr. Google informs me that I most likely have a subconjunctival hemorrhage¹, a largely benign condition involving a broken blood vessel in front of the white of the eye. (And yes, I am considering calling my real-life physician in the morning to see if I should get a second opinion.) The good news is that it will go away on its own, and doesn’t need treatment. Less good is that it will take at least a week. Possibly more like 2 weeks. Possibly longer.

I’m not usually one to spend a lot of time worrying about my looks, but I am also used to not looking like an extra from a horror movie. (At least most days.) My eye really is quite startling to look at, and I am quite likely going to freak a few people out over the next few days…(weeks?). After all, people are very squeamish about eyes. (Myself included.) According to TV Tropes, “Eye trauma is one of the easiest ways to gross people out.” (Yeah! I got that.)

Also, it happens that I am going to a wedding this Saturday, where I will possibly be meeting dozens of people for the first time. People in my field, no less, as the friend who is getting married is also a linguist.

So, I’m trying to figure out ways to gracefully avoid freaking/grossing people out at the wedding. Here are some options I have considered:

  1. Wink a lot, especially for photos.
  2. Wear sunglasses.
  3. Pretend to be a vampire from an Anne Rice novel, crying blood tears.²
  4. Wear an eyepatch, and decorate it to match my dress.
  5. Wear an eyepatch and a pirate costume, and say I thought it was a costume wedding.

Another friend who is going to the wedding has now seen a photo of my eye³, and suggested zombie might be a better costume. But I don’t know, pirates just seem classier than zombies for weddings. Plus, I can have the excuse to loot.

If anyone has any other suggestions to make, please do so.


¹ I see subconjunctival, and I can’t help but read subjunctive. If only it were simply a matter of subjunctive misuse.
² I went through an Anne Rice phase.
³ I was considering posting said photo, but John talked me out of it. I believe he used the word “oversharing.” You have been spared.⁴
⁴ Unless you are likely to see me in person in the next couple of weeks. Then there is no escaping.

18 thoughts on “I need help with red-eye reduction.

  1. Eye patch. Or, using the laws of color theory, when you want to reduce the impact of red in a room add red’s opposite, green. Meaning you need to wear lots of green eyeshadow. On second thought, stick with the eye patch.

    1. Hmm…I don’t think that I have green eye shadow, so we’re probably safe. Interestingly, the blue of my eye looks bluer than blue up against all that red.

      I haven’t gotten an eye patch yet. I’ll keep you posted.

    1. Playing the role of the responsible adult (aside from the bit about considering go to the wedding dressed as a pirate), I did actually call the doctor’s office. A live human being confirmed Dr. Google’s diagnosis over the phone, so I think I’m pretty safe. But thank you for the concern! And for the sunglasses vote. I may have several stylish options available.

    1. Thanks, Heather! It does seem to be nothing, where “nothing” means “merely disfiguring and inconvenient, but of no actual medical concern.” This is a god thing.

      And given that I haven’t yet acquired an eye patch (or even dug out the pirate one we got from a pirate-themed birthday party last year), I probably will go for sunglasses. If only this were going to be a daytime beach wedding…

    1. You know, Holly, I don’t think the invite mentions attire. So clearly there can’t be *too* strict of a dress code. So I wouldn’t need to wear formal pirate eveningwear, but perhaps merely a bit of a dress pirate blouse. Or is there such a thing as pirate business casual?

    1. You are ever-so-helpful, bshep. Sadly, I don’t have time to shop for the lovely accessory you’ve suggested.

      As for painting the lens of my glasses, I wonder if I were just to put a photo in the one lens? It wouldn’t even necessarily have to be of an eye. I’m thinking maybe some blue sky with clouds. Or I could paint something abstract. Or hang some curtains on the lens.

      Or maybe I really should get to bed.

  2. Tell everyone you were in a barroom brawl. You can add,” You should see the other guy.” I have to admit I like the pirate patch idea too. Choose a very girly material for the patch – something favoring a Gucci print. :-)

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