Subconjunctival hemorrhage is a common, benign and self-limiting condition that occurs when an external eye capillary breaks and blood collects under the conjunctiva – the transparent layer of tissue that covers the the white of the eye.
As the conjunctiva only covers the white parts of the eye, the cornea is unaffected. Hence, a subconjunctival hemorrhage does not affect the vision.
What causes a subconjunctival hemorrhage?
Causes can include:
- Trauma to the eye
- Rigorous/forceful eye rubbing
- High blood pressure
- Violent coughing
- Straining when lifting up heavy objects
- Chronic constipation
- Taking blood thinning medications
- Blood clotting disorders
Signs and Symptoms
The most common sign of a subconjunctival hemorrhage is a blood-like red patch on the eye. The patch could be as small as a blot or it can spread to cover even the entire white of the eye. A subconjunctival hemorrhage doesn’t cause any pain, blurring of vision or discharge Some might experience mild irritation or scratchiness is the affected eye.
Subconjunctival hemorrhage is a self-limiting condition. Depending on how large the hemorrhage is, with time, the redness will subside within a few days or weeks. If the eye is feeling irritated, artificial tears can be used for symptomatic relief.
If the subconjunctival hemorrhage keeps recurring, consider visiting a doctor to investigate the underlying cause.