What You Need to Know About Subconjunctival Hemorrhages
Subconjunctival hemorrhage sounds nasty – and it looks as nasty as it sounds! Basically, it’s a hemorrhage in your eye, and it’s caused by blood vessels that are ruptured or broken, which leads to blood leaks in the space between the conjunctiva (the tissue that lines the inside of the eyelids) and sclera (the white of the eye).
Despite the disturbing appearance, this is a common condition that can happen to anyone at any age.
What Causes Subconjunctival Hemorrhage?
There are many causes of subconjunctival hemorrhage, but often the cause is not obvious. The cause can be as simple as severe coughing, vomiting, or even rubbing your eyes too strenuously. It can be caused by high blood pressure, eye surgery, or by the side effects of blood thinner medications; it can also be caused by choking and eye trauma or a serious illness like Ebola.
The first sign of a hemorrhage may simply be a red spot in your eye that you notice when you wake up in the morning. This blood spot will grow larger within the first 24 hours, but blood will not leak from your eye, and it should slowly decrease in size and colour.
Is a Subconjunctival Hemorrhage Dangerous?
Subconjunctival hemorrhaging isn’t a dangerous condition, and it shouldn’t affect your vision. However, if you have blood in your eye after a head injury, the bleeding you see may be from your brain and not from your eye, so it is vitally important to get it checked immediately at your local Kelowna optometrist.
A normal case of subconjunctival hemorrhage can be diagnosed by your doctor who will examine your eye and check your blood pressure. If you have a history of hemorrhaging, a blood test will determine if you have a blood clotting disorder or blood problem that affects other parts of your body.
And you should definitely see an eye doctor if you have any pain associated with the hemorrhage, or you experience any changes in vision such as blurry vision, double vision, or difficulty seeing.
What Is the Treatment for a Subconjunctival Hemorrhage?
A subconjunctival hemorrhage usually goes away within one to two weeks without treatment. Keep in mind that it will get worse before it gets better, and it will probably turn yellow or pink before returning to normal. However, if your eye feels irritated, your optometrist may recommend using artificial tears to relieve irritation. And you will be advised to avoid taking any drugs that might increase your risk of bleeding, such as blood thinners, aspirin, or warfarin.
If you have bleeding in your eye, don’t suffer in silence, schedule an eye examination. Your eye doctor will measure your eye pressure and look inside to make sure there is no trauma or bleeding deep inside the eye. Your eye doctor will also take a look at your medical history to ensure that there are no conditions that may have caused the subconjunctival hemorrhaging.
Subconjunctival hemorrhaging may simply be a minor problem that will clear up quickly, but when it comes to your health, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.