Many of us have had a blood red spot on the white of the eye at one time or another. Usually there was no injury or discomfort. Many people wake-up with the red spot and may not even be aware of it until a family member or co-worker points it out. Subconjunctival hemorrhages look worse than they are and do not need treatment.
The conjunctiva is a thin membrane that covers the inner surface of the eyelid and the white part of the eyeball. The conjunctiva contains many small, fragile blood vessels that are easily ruptured or broken. Subconjunctival hemorrhage occurs when a small blood vessel in the conjunctiva breaks and bleeds. It may occur spontaneously or from heavy lifting, coughing or vomiting. In some cases, it may develop following eye surgery or trauma. Subconjunctival hemorrhage tends to be more common among those with diabetes and hypertension.
Certain medications can make the bleeding worse, including: Coumadin, Aspirin, Plavix, St. John’s Wort and Ginkgo.
While it may look frightening, a subconjunctival hemorrhage is essentially harmless. The blood from the broken conjunctival vessel becomes trapped in the space underneath the clear conjunctival tissue. The blood naturally absorbs within one to three weeks and may turn greenish or yellow during this time.
A subconjunctival hemorrhage does not affect vision or cause pain, and treatment is usually not required. Exceptions are when the bleeding is a result of trauma or injury, the redness lasts more than 10 days or when it recurs again.
And of course, if you are unsure call our office. (707)762-8643
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