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Subconjunctival hemorrhage


The thin transparent membrane that covers the white part of your eyes. It contains blood vessels which are very prone to inflammation, tear and breakage.

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Subconjunctival hemorrhage is an eye disorder wherein the delicate blood vessels occurring underneath conjunctiva breaks. Also known as hyposphagma, is marked by bleeding due to ruptured blood vessels.

Symptoms of Subconjunctival hemorrhage

You won’t observe external bleeding in your eyes but a bright red spot or blood shot will appear on the white portion i.e. the sclera of your eyes. It remains prominent in the first 24 hours and gradually starts decreasing in size.

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As such there’s no pain or change in vision in your eyes but your eyelids might swell a bit. You can sense irritation or scratchiness in your eyes.

Causes of Subconjunctival hemorrhage

The bright red spot develops precisely due to leaking of blood into the space between the conjunctiva and sclera.

The possible causes of subconjunctival hemorrhage are:

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  • Eye infection
  • Scratching the eyes vigorously
  • Excessive coughing or whooping cough
  • Forceful and jerky vomiting
  • Violent sneezing
  • Straining due to constipation
  • Foreign object in eyes
  • Head injury
  • Eye trauma, eye injury
  • Lifting heavy objects
  • Side effect of surgery in eyes- LASIK

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Side effect of intake of blood thinners

Patients with high blood pressure, blood clotting disorders and diabetes at higher risk of having subconjunctival hemorrhage. Infants might also have subconjunctival hemorrhage due to deficiency of vitamin C.

When to see a doctor

In most cases it disappears on its own. However, if you find the blood spot recurring or it persists for a week or more along with symptoms of pain or swelling then report to your doctor immediately.

Diagnosis of subconjunctival hemorrhage

You need to visit an ophthalmologist or eye specialist to get your condition diagnosed.

Your doctor would examine your eyes physically or might use a lighted instrument to get a clear picture. Subconjunctival hemorrhage does not require special tests.

However, your medical history, drug record, incidence of trauma or injury, etc. would be noted. Your blood pressure and blood sugar levels might be measured.

Further eye tests would be recommended only if you complain of visual problem, pain, etc.

Treatment of subconjunctival hemorrhage

If no complications are associated with your eyes then your doctor would not offer any treatment because subconjunctival hemorrhage heals spontaneously with the blood getting absorbed in the eyes. Artificial tears would be given to manage irritation.

Your doctor might consider altering the dose of the blood thinners or stop the medicines temporarily to sort out the problem. Antibiotic eye drops are prescribed only if there’s eye infection.

Other treatment measures will be directed towards curing the primary health disorder that you are suffering from to avoid recurrence of subconjunctival hemorrhage.

Prevention and home remedies for Subconjunctival hemorrhage

At home you can splash clear, pure and cold water in your eyes particularly if you are travelling or working before computer at frequent intervals to tone down the irritation and itchiness

There’re no as such preventive measures- except being careful while coughing, sneezing, etc. to avoid breaking of those delicate blood vessels.

Written by: healthplus24.com team

Date last updated: April 12, 2016

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