Subconjunctival Hemorrhage

Blood in the eyes is medically known as a subconjunctival hemorrhage. A very common cause of a painless bloody eye usually first noticed by somebody else or by the person with it when they look in the mirror. The bleeding results from a break in a small blood vessel in the white of the eye. This releases a tiny amount (less than a drop) of blood which is trapped underneath the conjunctiva, much like the blood in a bruise is trapped in the skin. This can occur with heavy lifting, coughing, sneezing, vomiting or for no apparent reason. It looks bad and may be frightening but is not dangerous and leaves no residual change in vision. There is no discharge from the eye. The redness may turn brown or green and everything returns to normal within 3 weeks as the blood is absorbed.

Subconjunctival Hemorrhage Treatment

It is very important for an eye doctor to determine the cause of hyphema. If the cause is the result of trauma to the eye, it is extremely important for Dr. Cohlmia to know the details of the injury. He will test visual acuity, measure intraocular pressure, and examine the eye with a slit lamp microscope and ophthalmoscope.

Hyphema should not be treated without the help of an eye doctor. In mild cases of hyphema, the blood is usually reabsorbed by the body within a few days, as long as the patient follows the doctor’s treatment instructions. Treatment usually consists of bed rest, eye patching, and sedation to minimize activity and reduce the chance of recurrent bleeding. If the intraocular pressure is increased, removal of the blood may be recommended, and hospitalization may be required.

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