Subconjunctival Hemorrhage

Image of a hemorrhage.

Similar to a bruise under the skin, a subconjunctival hemorrhage happens when a small blood vessel located between the sclera (white portion of an eye) and the conjunctiva (lining on the surface of an eye) breaks and covers the sclera with blood. Unlike broken blood vessels located under the skin which take on shades of black, blue, and green, a subconjunctival hemorrhage located under the clear conjunctiva has a bright red appearance initially, and slowly fades to orange and yellow, as the tissue of the eye absorbs the blood.

Subconjunctival Hemorrhage Symptoms

Usually painless upon occurrence, a subconjunctival hemorrhage typically goes unnoticed until the individual looks in the mirror or someone else points out the red spot on the eye. Subconjunctival hemorrhage has few symptoms, and mostly affects a person's appearance and sometimes self-esteem. The hemorrhage, however, can cause a full sensation on the surface of the eye or a feeling of eye awareness when blinking. It can also cause slight irritation or a feeling of grittiness. Subconjunctival hemorrhage should not affect vision, cause pain, or lead to any changes in eye discharge.

Subconjunctival Hemorrhage Causes and Risk Factors

The specific cause of subconjunctival hemorrhage is not always apparent. Extremely delicate, the blood vessels of the eyes rupture easily and can break under the pressure of a powerful sneeze, violent coughing, vomiting, or strain from activities like weight lifting. Subconjunctival hemorrhage can also result from an injury to the eye in cases of excessive eye rubbing, inserting contact lenses, or through some other trauma. In addition, a viral or bacterial infection of the eye such as conjunctivitis can cause a subconjunctival hemorrhage.

Certain medications or medical conditions can predispose an individual to recurrent subconjunctival hemorrhages. These conditions include diabetes, high blood pressure or hypertension, blood clotting disorders, and blood thinning medications like aspirin or Coumadin.

Diagnosis and Treatment

An eye care professional will diagnose subconjunctival hemorrhage by observation. If a trauma or injury to the eye is pinpointed as the cause of the subconjunctival hemorrhage, a more comprehensive eye exam will be necessary to check for further damage. Like bruises on the skin, subconjunctival hemorrhages clear up on their own without additional treatment. The blood will eventually absorb back into the eye and disappear. If caused by an infection or underlying medical condition, treatment for that underlying medical problem will be necessary.

Office Hours

Our Regular Schedule

Monday:

8:00 am-5:30 pm

Tuesday:

8:00 am-5:30 pm

Wednesday:

8:00 am-5:30 pm

Thursday:

8:00 am-5:30 pm

Friday:

8:00 am-5:30 pm

Saturday:

Closed

Sunday:

Closed

Location

Find us on the map

Testimonials

Reviews From Our Satisfied Patients

  • "Testimonials coming soon..."
    Dr. Stephen H. Means & Associates Ocular Diagnostics & Therapeutics

Featured Articles

Read up on informative topics

  • Nystagmus

    Nystagmus is a vision condition characterized by repetitive, uncontrolled eye movements. These involuntary eye movements may be side-to-side, up and down, or in a circular pattern, which hinders the eyes’ ability to focus on a steady object. Individuals with nystagmus may hold their heads in unusual ...

    Read More
  • Macular Hole

    The condition known as a macular hole refers to a tiny break in the macula that results in blurry or distorted vision. To fully understand the condition, one must understand eye anatomy. The macula is a spot located in the center of the retina (the back portion of the eye). Located where light comes ...

    Read More
  • How It Helps

    The goal of vision therapy is to treat vision problems that cannot be fully addressed through eyeglasses, contact lenses or surgery. For example, studies show that vision therapy may be beneficial for addressing eyestrain and other issues that can affect a child’s reading abilities. The human brain ...

    Read More
  • How It Works

    Vision therapy, also referred to as vision training, neuro-vision therapy, or vision rehabilitation, is an optometry subspecialty. Vision therapy is prescribed to develop, improve and/or enhance visual function so an individual’s vision system functions more smoothly. Vision therapy can be beneficial ...

    Read More
  • Age-Related Macular Degeneration

    One of the leading causes of vision loss in people who are age 50 or older is age-related macular degeneration (AMD). This common eye condition leads to damage of a small spot near the center of the retina called the macula. The macula provides us with the ability to clearly see objects that are straight ...

    Read More
  • Signs and Symptoms Checklist

    Vision therapy, which is also known as vision training or visual training, is an individualized treatment program that can help identify and correct perceptual-cognitive deficiencies that are impacting visual learning, focus, and concentration. Vision Therapy for Children: Checklist While individuals ...

    Read More
  • Pediatric Ophthlamology

    Ophthalmology addresses the physiology, anatomy and diseases of the eyes. Pediatric ophthalmology focuses on the eyes of children. Pediatric ophthalmologists examine children’s eyes to see if they need corrective lenses or other treatments to improve their vision. Training for Pediatric Ophthalmologists Pediatric ...

    Read More
  • Myopia

    Myopia, or nearsightedness, means that your eyes can see close objects clearly but struggle to see things in the distance. Nearly 30 percent of Americans are nearsighted. This condition usually develops in children and teenagers, up to about the age of 20. A teacher or parent might notice a child squinting ...

    Read More
  • Diabetic Eye Diseases

    Diabetes is a condition that involves high blood sugar (glucose) levels. This can affect many parts of the body, including the eyes. One of the most common diabetic eye diseases is diabetic retinopathy, which is also a leading cause of blindness in American adults. Diabetic Retinopathy Diabetic retinopathy ...

    Read More
  • Presbyopia

    Somewhere around the age of 40, most people’s eyes lose the ability to focus on close-up objects. This condition is called presbyopia. You may start holding reading material farther away, because it is blurry up close. Reading suddenly gives you eyestrain. You might wonder when manufacturers started ...

    Read More

Newsletter Signup

Sign up for more articles