Subconjunctival Hemorrhage

Frequently, people will present in our office with a “red eye”, which has previously been white. This is bleeding in the area between the Sclera and Conjunctival membrane: Therefore, it is called a Sub-conjunctival Hemorrhage. They represent a break in a blood vessel under the conjunctiva and seepage of the blood from these vessels. They occur spontaneously and can be associated with coughing, straining, heavy lifting, or blood thinning medication (such as aspirin). Other times we do not know the cause at all.

There is no therapy that will help this. The only thing that will help is “tincture of time” – that is simply waiting and letting the eye re-absorb the blood trapped between these layers. Our experience has been that a cold compress within the first hour of bleeding will stop the bleeding. In the days following a warm compress can help the eye in re-absorbing the blood. There is nothing to be concerned or excited about. Simply wait…. And within approximately two weeks the hemorrhage will clear up. It will go from red to green to brown to clear. There is a possibility that these may re-occur in the future and one should not be alarmed with these hemorrhages in the conjunctiva unless they become frequent. In recurring episodes, further investigations for high blood pressure may be indicated. In such event, we would recommend reassessment at our office. If there are any further questions regarding this, please do not hesitate to call our office.

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