What is subconjunctival hemorrhage?
Subconjunctival hemorrhage is a “red eye” condition, which is a common complaint. However, due to the sudden onset with abnormal bright blood redness, the appearance can be quite alarming to patients and their contacts.
How common is subconjunctival hemorrhage?
Subconjunctival hemorrhage can occur in any age group. This disruption of conjunctival blood vessels usually happen in one eye, rarely in both eyes.
It can be managed by reducing your risk factors. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.
What are the symptoms of subconjunctival hemorrhage?
Patients with “red eye” have many usual symptoms. Those with this condition usually have no pain. The most obvious sign of a subconjunctival hemorrhage is a bright red patch on the white (sclera) of your eye.
Despite its bloody appearance, a subconjunctival hemorrhage should cause no change in your vision, no discharge from your eye and no pain. Your only discomfort may be a scratchy feeling on the surface of your eye.
There may be some symptoms not listed above. If you have any concerns about a symptom, please consult your doctor.
When should I see my doctor?
If you have any signs or symptoms listed above or have any questions, please consult with your doctor. Everyone’s body acts differently. It is always best to discuss with your doctor what is best for your situation.
What causes subconjunctival hemorrhage?
The cause of a subconjunctival hemorrhage isn’t always known. The following actions may cause a small blood vessel to rupture in your eye:
- Violent coughing
- Powerful sneezing
In some cases, a subconjunctival hemorrhage may result from an eye injury, including:
- Roughly rubbing your eye
- Trauma, such as a foreign object injuring your eye
In severe cases, subconjunctival hemorrhage can be a symptom of an acquired infectious conditions.
What increases my risk for subconjunctival hemorrhage?
There are many risk factors for subconjunctival hemorrhage, such as:
- Prior episodes of trauma or infection.
- Chemicals accident
- Other risk factors include: contact lens use, training, lifting or pushing heavy objects, high blood pressure, medical comorbidities.
Diagnosis & treatment
The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.
How is subconjunctival hemorrhage diagnosed?
Your doctor or eye doctor will generally diagnose a subconjunctival hemorrhage by looking at your eye. You’ll likely need no other tests.
If you have recurrent subconjunctival hemorrhages, your doctor may also:
- Ask you questions about your general health and symptoms
- Conduct an eye examination
- Take your blood pressure
- Obtain a routine blood test to make sure you don’t have a potentially serious bleeding disorder
Measurement of normal visual acuity and findings on penlight examination are central features in determining management of the red eye. The history and overall patient assessment are useful and confirmatory in the decision to manage or refer.
When redness is from subconjunctival hemorrhage, rupture of blood vessel leaving blood just beneath the surface of the eye. The blood is then typically resorbed over 1 to 2 weeks without resulting in serious complication or blinding.
How is subconjunctival hemorrhage treated?
Some patients with subconjunctival hemorrhage need urgent treatment, although the vast majority including subconjunctival hemorrhage can be treated by the primary care clinician.
You may want to use eyedrops, such as artificial tears, to soothe any scratchy feeling you have in your eye.
Doctors need to make sure that the condition is only external and will resolve within 1-3 weeks for patient.
Lifestyle changes & home remedies
What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage subconjunctival hemorrhage?
To cope with subconjunctival hemorrhage:
- Keep your eyes hygiene.
- Plash it with cold water or cover your eyes with a towel after soaking it in water
- A balance diet to keep the blood pressure down
- Glasses to protect your eyes from injuries
If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Leibowitz HM. The red eye. N Engl J Med 2000. Accessed 10 Feb, 2017.
Ophthalmology Back to Basics Review Dr. Andrew Toren. Accessed 10 Feb, 2017.
Eye Emergencies UNC Department of Emergency Medicine Nikki Waller 2009-2010. Accessed 10 Feb, 2017.
Management of the Red Eye Anthony Cavallerano, OD VA Boston Health Care System New England College of Optometry Boston, Massachusetts. Accessed 10 Feb, 2017.
The RED EYE Juan S. Lopez, MD UP-PGH, UST, St. Luke’s, EAMC. Accessed 10 Feb, 2017.
Review Date: March 8, 2017 | Last Modified: March 8, 2017