You are not sure how, you are not sure why but when you woke up in the morning and looked in the mirror you noticed one of your eyes was red, really red! You think back on what happened last night. You did not get hit in the eye, you did not feel any pain, nor did you notice any changes in your vision. Yet the white part of your eye is now red. What is this and how could this have happened?
A subconjunctival hemorrhage is when a blood vessel in the white part of the eye called the conjunctiva bursts and blood leaks out. The blood does not escape outside the eye due to the conjunctival tissue but the appearance is quite noticeable. The blood can cover a part of the conjunctiva or it can cover the entire portion. This usually occurs when the location of the bleed is in the upper portion of the conjunctiva and gravity pools the blood to the lower portion.
The common ways in which a subconjunctival hemorrhage can occur include an increase in pressure like excessive coughing or sneezing, trauma, mechanical rubbing of the eye, being on certain medications including blood thinners, and other unknown causes. In most cases the blood will resolve within a week or two as the body naturally will absorb the blood. The color of the blood may change from a red to a darker red as it absorbs.
If you or someone you know notices your eye is very red and you would like to have it examined, please call (860) 233-2020 for an appointment today.