Shown in the picture is what is known as a subconjunctival hemorrhage. This is the result of a burst blood vessel under the transparent tissue (conjunctiva) that covers the white part (sclera) of your eye. It can be caused by something as simple as eye strain resulting from a forceful cough or sneeze, heavy-lifting, or even just rubbing the eye too hard. Don’t fret; it’s actually pretty common and usually nothing to worry about. However, you should still see your doctor in order to rule out any more serious causes (e.g. hypertension, bleeding disorder, infection, etc.), especially if you have experienced any recent trauma to the head or face. Because even a tiny bit of blood in that narrow space between the conjunctiva and the sclera can spread to cover a large portion of the eye, odds are that it probably looks a lot worse than it actually is. In fact, there is typically no treatment required, and the condition gradually resolves on its own over 1-2 weeks as the blood is absorbed. Your doctor may recommend the use of an artificial teardrop if you are experiencing any associated irritation of the eye; however, most patients do not experience any significant discomfort despite the eye’s concerning appearance. Avoidance of certain medications that can increase bleeding risk may be advised as well; however, you should consult your doctor before doing so.
This article was written by pharmacy student Kiersti Jones.
Disclaimer: Answers to inquiries concerning information about health conditions and/or medications are not for diagnostic or treatment purposes and can not be considered conclusive without consulting with a physician for diagnosis and treatment. Any information contained here is not a substitute for medical advice and may be outdated, invalid, or subject to debate. If you are in need or immediate medical attention, contact your physician or call 911. If you need to speak to a pharmacist, call Grand Bay Pharmacy at (251) 865-5555.