I suspect my children have some symptom of flu or Covid.

Their eyes are somehow spacing out or lacking vividness or liveliness like some people are high on drug.

What is the adjective that express the eyes of people who are sick or high on drug?

For example, he is bleary-eyed.

  • 1
    Perhaps blank eyes?
    – Peter
    Commented Mar 9, 2022 at 12:19
  • The best answers will depend on context. In a literary work, you might use the expression "dull eyes," but in talking to a doctor trying to diagnose an illness in your child, you would say something more specific. For instance, some drugs make a child's pupils dilated, and that is exactly what some parents look for in their children when they suspect they have been using drugs. Commented Mar 9, 2022 at 16:28
  • 1
    [corrections: high on drugs, with an s//What is the adjective that describes the eyes of people who are high on drugs.]
    – Lambie
    Commented Apr 24, 2023 at 14:39
  • Dead-eyed sounds a bit too severe?
    – Stuart F
    Commented Dec 20, 2023 at 20:54

1 Answer 1


The common term (at least in AmE) is "blood shot" and it is used to describe eyes that are red or irritated. See blood shot eyes. (Use discretion, images could be disturbing)

For less intensity issues you could use "bleary eyes," "dreary eyes," or just "irritated eyes." See bleary eyes and dreary eyes.

Where I am from we almost always "blood shot" for even the slightest bit of red. And for dreary eyes we use "tired eyes" sometimes as well.

  • their eyes are not too red, maybe 10% red but not very red. It is more like tired eyes. Do you think "bleary-eyed" is ok?
    – Tom
    Commented Mar 9, 2022 at 13:16
  • @Tom Yes, that would work, you could also use just "irritated" also. I updated my answer to include that.
    – Eli Harold
    Commented Mar 9, 2022 at 13:47
  • "Blood shot eyes" is commonly used in all varieties of English. Not just American English.
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Apr 16, 2022 at 12:42
  • 2
    Glassy Eyed is probably the most precise option. Many of the other options can also be used when someone is tired or groggy but glassy eyed means things are not OK.
    – EllieK
    Commented Aug 23, 2022 at 18:05
  • Some drugs enlarge the pupils.
    – Lambie
    Commented Apr 24, 2023 at 14:40

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