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Why Did My Eye Turn Red? Subconjuctival Hemorrhages

Red Eye - Day 1

You can imagine how shocking it is to wake up to a sight like this. It's a little scary. Luckily, it wasn't anything serious.
You can imagine how shocking it is to wake up to a sight like this. It's a little scary. Luckily, it wasn't anything serious. | Source

Red Eye - Day 2

Some of the redness on top and bottom have started to clear, turning yellow, but the red is creeping towards my iris.
Some of the redness on top and bottom have started to clear, turning yellow, but the red is creeping towards my iris.

Subconjunctival Hemorrhages

So, I woke up one morning and one of my eyes was red. Not red as in bloodshot, but RED!! Like, half my eye looked bloody, as you can see in the photo on the right.

I tried to think of something that happened that could have caused it, but couldn't come up with any reason. I wasn't hit in the eye, or on the side of my head. I didn't rub my eye really hard. But here it was, first thing when I woke up!

I looked it up online and found out it's called a "Subconjunctival Hemorrhage," which basically means that a blood vessel broke and the blood leaked under the top layer of my eye.

I took photos of my eye every day, so you could see how it looked on day #1, and how long it took to heal, and the progression of the red throughout the healing process.

You can see that on day #2, the blood must be following a blood vessel line or something, creeping toward my iris, as the most spread-out part starts to heal.

Red Eye - Day 3

Day 3: The red has spread further towards the iris, while the rest continued to heal and showing less red in the outer part of the white.
Day 3: The red has spread further towards the iris, while the rest continued to heal and showing less red in the outer part of the white. | Source

Does It Hurt?

I don't know about for anyone else, but can only speak to my own experience.

My husband was the one that told me that my eye was red when I woke up. Before I looked at it, I thought it felt kind of swollen. Not as in, feeling it with my fingers or anything. Just the eye itself felt swollen. Just a little. And maybe a little dry.

Other than that, I really didn't feel anything. It just felt...maybe a little scratchy in that area. Kind of irritated, like when you've stayed up too late and your eyes feel tired and dry.

So although it LOOKS really bad, it doesn't feel much like anything.

Eye Drops Help Moisten Eye

Since the broken blood vessel caused my eye to feel dry, and a little scratchy, the eye drops helped a little.
Since the broken blood vessel caused my eye to feel dry, and a little scratchy, the eye drops helped a little.

Eye Drops Sooth Dryness

During the healing process, I put eye drops in my eye to help with the feeling of dryness. Even though the dryness wasn't all that much, the eye drops felt good.

When I use eye drops, or eye lubricant, I prefer to use the individual vials, which are preservative-free. There are several different brands of preservative-free eye drops, such as Systane, Allergan Optive and Tears Naturale. The one I use, is Tears Natruale, but any preservative-free eye drops will do.

Red Eye - Day 4

Day 4: You can see that most of the redness has started to heal. The small bit near my iris still remains with a healed portion between the two red patches.
Day 4: You can see that most of the redness has started to heal. The small bit near my iris still remains with a healed portion between the two red patches.

Red Eye - Day 5

On day 5 my eye is still healing nicely. You can see how much of the red has gone away in just under a week. You can also see that there is still a little red spot near the iris.
On day 5 my eye is still healing nicely. You can see how much of the red has gone away in just under a week. You can also see that there is still a little red spot near the iris.

Five Days of Healing

On day #5, my eye has already healed quite a bit, and looks like a normal blood-shot eye might look.

It was interesting how the blood near the iris, which wasn't there on day one, but spread after a couple of days, was the last part to heal. It stayed a bit redder than the rest.

And the main part of my eye, was still kind of yellowish during the healing process.

Red Eye - Day 6

Day 6: Wow! What an improvement. My eye is starting to look almost normal again. Whew!
Day 6: Wow! What an improvement. My eye is starting to look almost normal again. Whew! | Source

Red Eye - Day 7

After just one week, my eye looks just slightly irritated. Nothing like it did on day #1!
After just one week, my eye looks just slightly irritated. Nothing like it did on day #1!

One Week of Healing

By day #6, my eye was looking pretty good. Way better than day #1!

And by day #7, after just one week, you can see how much my eye had healed up. Compare the photos of day#6 and day#7. You can see that on day #7, almost all of the yellow had cleared up, and my eye was finally mostly white again.

So if this happens to you, at least now you will know kind of what to expect. And don't freak out. As you can see, eyes heal fairly quickly.

Red Eye - Day 8

Day 8: Almost gone. Yay!!! The reddest part is just a small spot near my iris.
Day 8: Almost gone. Yay!!! The reddest part is just a small spot near my iris.

Final Stages of Healing

The last bits of red are clearing up. So happy at this point that most of the red is gone.

It's so strange how something like this can happen without any cause.

The body is a miraculous thing, with awesome healing ability.

Red Eye - Day 9

Almost healed!
Almost healed!

Eye After Healing Completely

A little bit of red in the eye is normal. This is how my eye looks normally, and after completely healing.
A little bit of red in the eye is normal. This is how my eye looks normally, and after completely healing.

Comments 11 comments

justateacher profile image

justateacher 5 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

Great info and photos...


Meadow Kelly profile image

Meadow Kelly 5 years ago from Deep South, USA

That just looks painful! Great article and detailed photos, Amber. Thanks for sharing.

"The body is a miraculous thing, with awesome healing ability." Indeed.


Katie 4 years ago

Thank you for sharing. It's great knowing I'm not alone as online I could not find any decent pictures. They all seemed to be extreme cases. Thanks again.


Amber Killinger profile image

Amber Killinger 4 years ago Author

You're welcome! I also tried going online to find photos and information when this happened to me. So I figured I'd document the whole thing so others can see how it progresses and heals.


Diana 4 years ago

What mostly would you think would you think happened.


sexyreds 4 years ago

thanks for the photos and info i am having the same problem as we speak and ppl on work are freaked out but im good i don't feel any sever discomfort


MF 4 years ago

Great demo. I am now experiencing this condition.


cuttler profile image

cuttler 3 years ago from HubPages

I really found this fascinating. I have seen guys freak out over this but now I know its all normal. Thanks so much for this. Definitely voting it up


ahal 3 years ago

thanks for putting my mind at ease! i was unaware also other than slight dry, tired type feeling in one eye until my son said "wow, what's wrong with your eye mum? mine is a very deep red the covering whole left side of my eye so looks awful, im going to my grandsons football game tomorrow, so im sure i'll get some looks!


A tyler 6 weeks ago

Wow I thought it might be something serious. My mind was telling me, I'm in trouble but it's healing quite nicely as yours did. Thanks for the info.


Ali 5 weeks ago

Great information, thank you so much!

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