Subconjunctival Hemorrhage

Subconjunctival hemorrhage is a condition that is characterized by bleeding from a broken blood vessel underneath the conjunctiva, the transparent membrane that covers the eyeball. Though it looks frightening, it is generally harmless.
The amount of blood may be so small that at first it is barely noticeable. But later it can look like it’s
spreading, which may alarm you. Rest assured that the amount of blood is not increasing.
A subconjunctival hemorrhage will not affect your vision. There is no way this blood can enter the
inside of your eye.
A small blood vessel may burst when you strain suddenly, such as when lifting something heavy,
sneezing, coughing, vomiting, or straining on the toilet. Very rarely, the bleeding may be associated with a
generalized bleeding tendency, such as in platelet deficiency or the use of blood thinners.
By the time you first see the hemorrhage, the bleeding has already stopped. Like a bruise, the blood will gradually dissipate, but it may take as long as two to four weeks to absorb completely.
It is unlikely that you may be able to hasten the absorption process by using warm soaks (compresses) on the area. Drops will not help.
You shouldn’t have any pain, but if your eye itches or feels irritated, you can use artificial tears (e.g.
Systane Ultra or Blink Tears) which can be purchased over-the-counter.
It is always a good idea to schedule an appointment with your eye doctor to confirm that it is a only a
subconjunctival hemorrhage and not some underlying condition.