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Subconjunctival Hemorrhage (Broken Blood Vessels in the Eye)

Updated on June 10, 2015
Subconjunctival hemorrhage
Subconjunctival hemorrhage | Source

Subconjunctival Hemorrhage

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.

Causes

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.

Treatment

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

Day 1 of the healing process
Day 1 of the healing process
Day 2 of the healing process
Day 2 of the healing process
Day 3 of the healing process
Day 3 of the healing process
Day 4 of the healing process
Day 4 of the healing process
Day 5 of the healing process
Day 5 of the healing process | Source

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.

Instructions

  1. Take position in front of your computer with your nose mid way between the cross and the black star.
  2. Close your left eye and stare at the cross with your right eye.
  3. While staring at the cross with your right eye (maintain contact), slowly move your head towards the computer screen.
  4. 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?

See results

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.

Comments

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    • Conservative Lady profile image

      Sheila 4 years ago from Surprise Arizona - formerly resided in Washington State

      Very interesting hub. When I was in Nursing School my lab partner was having trouble learning how to correctly take a blood pressure so I let her practice on me. For a good hour she squeezed my arm tight with the BP cuff and tried to hear my BP - when we finished I had bilateral (both eyes) with very obvious subconjunctival hemorrhages. Lesson learned and by the way my lab partner transferred out of Nursing soon after.

    • anatomynotes profile image
      Author

      Edmund Custers 4 years ago

      Conservative Lady, thank you for your comment.

    • Tony phylactou 2 years ago

      I had it several times and it usually goes within 12 days.It clears outside first and closer to the eyeball last.The only

      precaution you take is not to have a hot bath because your blood pressure goes up and worsens the problem,and to

      avoid alcohol for the same reason.

    • anatomynotes profile image
      Author

      Edmund Custers 2 years ago

      Tony, it usually clears gradually. Sometimes I don't even notice it until someone else points it out. Thanks for stopping by and contributing.

    • Hazel 15 months ago

      is't sign of a somthing serious? i'm scared

    • anatomynotes profile image
      Author

      Edmund Custers 15 months ago

      Hi Hazel, to be sure, you should better check with your GP. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment.

    • Cho 13 months ago

      Can it be cuased by looking at a screen for to long

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