Hemorrhage in the Eye/Subconjunctival Hemorrhage

Seeing red in the whites of your eyes isn’t uncommon, especially if you’re in the habit of straining for bowel movements or do a lot of heavy lifting. Children are also prone to persistent hemorrhage in the eyes due to trauma and accidents. While it usually doesn’t present a big issue, it’s still best to get treatment for eye hemorrhage from an expert near me in NYC at Eye Physicians. Even if you don’t need extensive treatment for subconjunctival hemorrhage, you can rest easy knowing that your and your family’s vision is protected.

What Does Subconjunctival Hemorrhage Mean?

Hemorrhage in the Eye/Subconjunctival HemorrhageSubconjunctival hemorrhage is when you see red in the eyes. The conjunctiva or the white part of the eye has many small blood vessels. When these burst, the blood leaks out and pools, causing a red patch or spot.

Most hemorrhages in the eye develop spontaneously or are caused by trauma. Getting your eyes checked by optometrists near me in Downtown Manhattan for a checkup or for emergency eye care is the surest way to find out if you need treatment for eye hemorrhage issues. Eye Physicians in NYC provide you with accurate diagnoses and effective treatment for subconjunctival hemorrhage and a host of other eye conditions ranging from ocular rosacea and pink eye to lazy eye and styes.

How Do I Get a Subconjunctival Hemorrhage?

There could be several reasons for your red eye. If you get a direct hit to the eye, the trauma may have caused some veins to burst. Within 12 to 24 hours, you see the noticeable red eye for which you need treatment for subconjunctival hemorrhage.

You may also see some redness during the post-operative stage of a recent eye surgery like intraocular lens implants, cataract surgery, filtration surgery or stye surgery.

Certain eye conditions also make you vulnerable to subconjunctival hemorrhage, such as:

Most people tend to rub irritated eyes, but this movement could be rough and cause trauma leading to hemorrhage in the eye.

Spontaneous subconjunctival hemorrhage occurs due to a sudden surge of pressure in the blood vessels caused by reasons such as:

  • Sudden bouts of violent coughing or sneezing
  • Heaving while vomiting
  • The strain of pushing the baby during delivery
  • Constipation that makes you strain while on the toilet
  • Certain activities where you strain yourself like carrying heavy shopping bags or lifting heavy items

Who’s at Risk for Subconjunctival Hemorrhage?

For adults, hemorrhage in the eye isn’t a rarity. You may see red eyes at any age, but those between 60 to 80 years of age are more vulnerable. As you age, you tend to lose the elastic properties of the blood vessels, making them easily breakable at the slightest pressure.

In children, cases of hemorrhage in the eye are just under 0.5 percent, so you do need an immediate pediatric eye exam by your NYC pediatric ophthalmologist. Most causes of red eye in children are trauma induced, severe conjunctivitis and to a lesser degree ocular surface disease. Even babies get red eye, mostly due to trauma caused by a difficult delivery.

Other high-risk factors for subconjunctival hemorrhage include:

  • Systemic vascular disorders. Medical conditions like hypertension, diabetes and arteriosclerosis are the most common sources of red eyes. Your New York City eye doctor may advise you to get a diabetic eye exam in NYC or glaucoma test to rule out high blood sugar related eye problems like diabetes retinopathy or cataracts.
  • Medications. Blood thinners like aspirin and warfarin increase your risk for hemorrhaging in the eye.
  • Contact lenses. Glasses and contact lenses are often prescribed as part of the astigmatism correction protocol for treating myopia and farsightedness. The necessity for continuous usage, however, has the potential to inflame the conjunctiva that leads to red eye, especially in young adults and children.

How Is Subconjunctival Hemorrhage Recognized?

The bright red spot is the telltale sign for hemorrhage in the eye. Besides this, however, you may not experience any other symptoms. You may not even feel you have any hemorrhage until you see yourself in the mirror or someone talks to you about your eyes.

The feeling of gritty eyes or that there is something foreign in your eye is common.

If you develop hemorrhage in the eye on a regular basis that’s unrelated to specific trauma, your NYC ophthalmologist may try a couple of different tests to understand the reason behind the frequent occurrences of red eye such as:

  • Checking your visual acuity with the Allen chart or the Snellen letter eye chart for younger children, although object tracking with each eye is used for babies
  • Investigating your intraocular pressure via an eye pressure test
  • Using a slit lamp examination, which increases the zoom level of your eye image so that even the smallest details are examined

What’s the Best Way to Treat Subconjunctival Hemorrhage?

There is no fast cure for subconjunctival hemorrhage, even though the condition is common. The best treatment for eye hemorrhage is time. The blood from the burst blood vessels is usually absorbed by the body, but the rate of this absorption depends on the size of the red patch or spot. In most cases, the hemorrhage in the eye disappears in two weeks.

As your eyes heal, you start noticing the red spot changing colors. From blood red, it usually turns brown or bluish black and then yellow, just like a normal bruise. Finally, you may notice a pink tinge on the conjunctiva before the white returns. You may also be given artificial tears to soothe eye irritations.

Prevention is difficult as you never know what may cause your blood vessels in the eyes to rupture.

You can, however, take steps to minimize the risks, such as:

  • Controlling your blood pressure through diet, exercise and medication
  • Avoiding activities that could cause eye strain or pressure behind your eyes
  • Getting regular eye checkups as this allows your eye doctor to catch trauma-related injuries faster
  • Being aware of all the risk factors associated with blood thinners and if possible, avoiding using such medications without supervision from a medical and an eye doctor

For more information about hemorrhaging in the eyes and how to treat subconjunctival hemorrhage, contact Eye Physicians near me in Downtown Manhattan. They have the latest tools and technology to provide you with an accurate diagnosis and the best treatment for subconjunctival hemorrhage for you and your family. And they always do their best to get you in and out of the office in under an hour.

Page Updated on Jul 3, 2024 by Dr. William Hogue, OD (Optometrist) of Eye Physicians
William Hogue, OD

My name is Dr. William Hogue, and I am an optometrist dedicated to providing top-quality professional eye care. I'm trained in treating various ocular conditions, including dry eye syndrome, glaucoma, and retinal issues.

I earned my chemistry degree summa cum laude from the University of Tennessee. Subsequently, I obtained my Doctorate of Optometry (OD) and Master of Science (MS) from the New England College of Optometry. Following graduation, I completed an ocular disease residency at the State University of New York’s College of Optometry. Beyond my clinical work, I have also been a supporter of Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity (SVOSH).

More about Dr. Hogue

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New York, NY 10013
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