What is a subconjunctival hemorrhage?
A subconjunctival hemorrhage occurs when a small blood vessel ruptures and becomes trapped underneath the conjunctiva (the translucent membrane that covers the white sclera). This is the same thing that happens when you get a bruise on your arm.
Subconjunctival hemorrhages usually appear as bright red spots that may get larger as the blood diffuses underneath the tissue. The blood usually changes color turning darker first and then yellow, or green. This condition usually looks much worse than it actually is and all the blood will naturally be reabsorbed by your body with time.
Coughing, sneezing, straining, or lifting can all cause a subconjunctival hemorrhage. High blood pressure may also contribute to this condition so it is important to make sure this is under control. If you are taking blood thinners, they may cause you to bleed more and you should contact your primary care doctor if you continue to have recurrent hemorrhages.
How is a subconjunctival hemorrhage treated?
There is no treatment needed for a subconjunctival hemorrhage as the body will naturally reabsorb the blood with time. However, you may use artificial tears to keep the eye lubricated if it feels irritated or scratchy.