Subconjunctival Hemorrhage (Broken Blood Vessels in the Eye)
Trauma is not the only cause of a broken blood vessel in the eye. Something as simple as a sneeze or a cough can also break blood vessels inside the eyeball.
Sometimes you won’t even know your eye is bleeding until someone else points it out to you. You would then rush to the nearest mirror to see that a big red spot has suddenly appeared on the white part of your eyeball.
This is due to ruptured tiny blood vessels (blood capillaries) underneath the thin layer (conjunctiva) that lines the surface of the eyeball. The broken blood vessel in the conjunctiva releases a drop of blood which can spreads to a broader area in the eye.
This type of broken blood vessels in the eye is known as a Subconjunctival hemorrhage. You may experience heavy, teary eye or discomfort when blinking but it is usually painless.
The most common causes of broken blood vessels in the eye include trauma, sneezing or even coughing forcefully, vomiting, heavy lifting and certain athletic maneuvers.
Generally, activities that raise the eye pressure can cause blood vessels to rupture in the eyeball. Factors that could increase the frequency of subconjunctival hemorrhages include age, rubbing of the eye, blood thinning medications, blood thinning herbs, high blood pressure or high vascular pressure, clotting disorder, Valsalva maneuver, weak blood vessels.
The healing time for a subconjunctival hemorrhage can range from several days to a few weeks and it usually heals on its own without any treatment. The blood in the hemorrhage will be gradually broken down, absorbed and transported away from the eye. The redness will gradually fade away with time.
Day 1 to 5 of the Healing Process
If you do not notice any improvement of the hemorrhage with time, then definitely get your eye examined by an eye care provider. Also contact an eye care provider if the ruptured blood vessels in your eye affect your vision, if you experience any pain or swelling, if the broken blood vessels in your eye are due to physical trauma or if you have any worries at all.
There are many other structures in the eye that can have bleeding and these should not be confused with subconjunctival hemorrhage. Remember, It is better to be safe than sorry!
Broken Blood Vessels in the Eye, explained by Dr. Oller C.
Blind Spot Poll: Find your blind Spot!
Now that we've rounded off with subconjunctival hemorrhage, let's have some fun with our eyes.
We all have one blind spot at the back of each eye. I have created the images below so that we can all check it out for ourselves. Take this fun test and provide your input and/or comment below.
- Take position in front of your computer with your nose mid way between the cross and the black star.
- Close your left eye and stare at the cross with your right eye.
- While staring at the cross with your right eye (maintain contact), slowly move your head towards the computer screen.
- At the right distance approximately 7 - 12 inches from your screen, the black star will disappear. This is the blind spot of your right eye! -This point perfectly coincides with the blind spot of the right eye.
Now try the other eye. Repeat the 4 steps above again; make sure you position yourself in front of your computer with your nose mid way between the cross and the black star. This time close your right eye and stare at the black star with your left eye. While staring at the black star with your left eye, slowly move your head towards the computer screen. At some point closer to your screen the cross will vanish. This is the blind spot of your left eye!
Did you find your blind spots?
If you didn't find your blind spot, you probably didn't do it right. The key is to constantly stare at the cross with your right eye and not break contact. Maybe you should give another go.