Michael Jordan’s red eyes in The Last Dance: Viewers voice concern over star’s health

Michael Jordan, 57, became a basketball legend during the 80s, playing 15 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA) and winning six championships with the Chicago Bulls. Netflix series The Last Dance highlights some of the star’s best sporting moments, but MJ has also caught the attention of viewers for another reason – for appearing to have red eyes.  


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Many people have taken to social media to highlight the sportsman’s appearance of red eyes, voicing concerns for his health.

Michael hasn’t responded to these claims, but what can red eyes be a sign of?

A red eye is usually nothing to worry about, according to the NHS, and often gets better on its own.

But sometimes it can signal something more serious conditions and require medical help.

There are a number of causes of a red eye – certain symptoms may offer an idea of what’s causing it.

The NHS says a bright red area in the white of the eye can be caused by a burst blood vessel.

A gritty or burning feeling and sticky eyes can be conjunctivitis – an eye condition caused by infection or allergies.

Sore, burry or watery eyes can signal dry eyes, which can be due to wearing contact lenses, looking at computer screens for a long time, or if you spend time in air conditioned or heated environments.

Itchy, sore or red eyelids can signal blepharitis – a condition which isn’t serious but can lead to other problems such as dry eyes, cysts and conjunctivitis if it’s not treated.

A feeling there’s something in your eye could be ingrowing eyelashes, and a swollen, dropping or twitching eyelid, or a lump on your eyelid, could signal eyelid problems.

Red eyes usually get better on their own, but if your eye isn’t better after a few days the health body advises you contact a GP.

If your baby has red eyes and is less than 28 days old, your eye is painful and red, or you have a red eye and wear contact lenses you should ask for an urgent GP appointment or call 111.


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You should call 999 or go to A&E if you have a red eye and the following:

  • Any changes to your sight, like wavy lines, flashing or loss of vision
  • It hurts to look at light
  • You have a severe headache and feel sick
  • Your eye or eyes are very dark red
  • You have injured or pierced your eye
  • Something is stuck in your eye (like a piece of glass or grit)

Specsavers advises if your red eye is painful or you experience other symptoms such as reduced vision it could be a sign of iritis, acute glaucoma or a corneal ulcer – conditions which can be serious and could threaten your sight if not managed properly.


Iritis is inflammation of the iris, the coloured part of the eye. The eye experts explain: “You may have a red eye, sensitivity to light, burred vision and/or a headache.

“Iritis usually responds quickly to treatment with steroid medication to reduce the inflammation. It rarely leads to severe problems.”

Acute glaucoma

Acute glaucoma is an increase in pressure inside your eye.

Specsavers states: “Your eye may be very red and painful, and you may feel sick and see haloes around lights. Your vision may be blurred or cloudy. This is a serious condition and could lead to permanent loss of vision if not treated quickly.”

Corneal ulcer

An ulcer on the cornea can cause the eye to become red, also sensitive to light and the feeling there’s something in your eye.

But bacterial corneal ulcers tend to be more common in people who wear contact lenses.

Specsavers advises: “Viral corneal ulcers are more common in people who frequently get cold sores. More severe ulcers could lead to permanent loss of vision if not treated quickly.”

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