Subconjunctival Hemorrhage (Blood in the Eye)

Blood spots in the white of the eye, called subconjunctival hemorrhage, can be alarming, but fortunately they’re usually harmless and typically heal on their own. If you live in the Wichita area and have questions about a bloody eye, schedule an appointment with Dr. Cohlmia online or by calling 316-264-8932.

What is a Subconjunctival Hemorrhage?

A subconjunctival hemorrhage appears as a bloody spot in the white of the eye. There can be one spot or several. There are many small blood vessels in the conjunctiva, which is a clear membrane that covers the surface of the eye and the insides of the eyelids. When any of the vessels break, blood leaks out between the conjunctiva and the white part of the eye, called the sclera. We see this as a bright red bloody spot in the eye.

These small eye hemorrhages are usually painless and harmless and will often heal on their own.

Common Causes

Subconjunctival hemorrhages happen when certain actions, such as coughing, sneezing, straining, vomiting or lifting heavy objects, cause a rapid increase in the blood pressure in your veins. This can lead to broken capillaries in the eyes.

They can also be caused by trauma, diabetes, high blood pressure, blood thinning medications and even rubbing your eyes too hard. In rare cases, a subconjunctival hemorrhage can be caused by a blood issue that affects the entire body, such as a clotting disorder.

Subconjunctival Hemorrhage Symptoms

Typically, the only sign of a subconjunctival hemorrhage is a bloody spot in the white of the eye. In fact, many people don’t even know they have one until they see it in the mirror. In some cases, the eye may feel mildly irritated.

Subconjunctival Hemorrhage Treatment

A subconjunctival hemorrhage will usually heal on its own in a few days or weeks without treatment. Artificial tears can help relieve irritation and discomfort, if present.

If you frequently have blood in your eye, it’s a good idea to make an appointment with an ophthalmologist for further testing and diagnosis.

Subconjunctival Hemorrhage

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