Most of you might have noticed redness in the white part of your eye. The reason for that is that a blood vessel right under the surface of your eye is broken. The conjunctiva is the outermost membrane of your eye that protects the white part of your eye called sclera. It is basically a thin, moist and transparent coating to your eyeball. It contains many small blood vessels in it. The source of bleeding can be due to the breakage of any of these blood vessels. This is termed as a subconjunctival hemorrhage. Increased vascular fragility and aging can result in an increased chance for the risk of subconjunctival hemorrhage. It is never really problematic so do not worry.
A subconjunctival hemorrhage is when a red patch overlaps the sclera or if you notice a bright red eye. The hemorrhage will appear in a larger size in the first 24 hours and gradually decrease in its size with time as the blood is absorbed. It is usually harmless and goes off on its own within a couple of weeks, so it does not need any expert treatment in most cases. But you might have an itchy or scratchy feeling on your eye surface. Remember that it is important to consult a doctor when the subconjunctival hemorrhage is recurring frequently if you have problems with your vision or any kind of discharge and pain.
About half of the cases of subconjunctival hemorrhage are harmless and cured on their own. People are aware of their bleeding conjunctiva only when they see it in the mirror or someone points it out. It is usually painless and may be caused due to various reasons. Some of them are listed below.
Increased pressure on the blood vessels may lead to its rupture and bleeding. The reason for the veins to bleed can be by the pressure caused due to sneezing, coughing, vomiting, and strain caused due to bowel movements or lifting heavyweights. Subconjunctival hemorrhage can be associated with serious conditions fractured bones under the skull, a ruptured globe or intraocular bleeding.
Blood vessels can also be destroyed in cases of direct trauma like rubbing your eyes intensely, trauma during removing or putting on your lenses, physical injury caused due to foreign objects or rubbing your eyes when it gets irritated from a foreign particle. Bleeding can also be caused after performing surgeries like cataract surgery or glaucoma surgery, which is cause postoperative bleeding. Injecting your eyeballs with anesthesia like retrobulbar anesthesia.
It can also be caused due to some of the underlying medical conditions like diabetes, vitamin K deficiency, bleeding disorders, high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis and certain medications like warfarin (coumadin, jantoven), which can make the blood thinner. The least common causes can be benign tumors or cancers, eye infections due to measles, hemorrhagic conjunctivitis and internal bleeding due to the head and orbital conditions.
Home Remedies –
There are no such remedies for subconjunctival hemorrhage at home and moreover, there is no need for any remedy as it gets cured on its own in most cases. If you face irritation, over the counter treatment can be done, like using artificial tears. Stay away from certain drugs that can increase the bleeding like aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, and other anti-inflammatory nonsteroidal medications. Also avoid decongestant drops for relieving the redness temporarily as they can side effects like dry eyes, medicaments keratitis along with not curing the blood in the eyes.
Your doctor will do a general diagnosis of your eye and run some tests in order to examine if there if your subconjunctival hemorrhage is linked to damage in any other parts of the eye. Make sure you take an appointment with your doctor if the subconjunctival hemorrhage does not go away after 2-3 weeks. Your doctor can ask you for some of the symptoms you are facing and run a blood pressure check-up. He might also conduct a blood test to ensure there is no potential bleeding disorder.
If your bleeding is due to a physical injury, he might prescribe you with tears that can make to blood to absorb itself into the eye within a week or two. As trauma can also be the cause, the doctor might look for ocular trauma causes like hyphema or injury of the cornea. A ruptured globe can be diagnosed by a CT scan or a dilated eye exam.
However, you can prevent it only in certain cases like rubbing your eyes gently when there is any kind of irritation. Rubbing your eyes hard can lead to breakage of the blood vessels. In most cases, a subconjunctival hemorrhage is mild and spontaneous, but be sure do not see any blood exiting from your eye. Blot your eye with tissue to find out.