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Subconjunctival Hemorrhage

WHAT IS A SUBCONJUNCTIVAL HEMORRHAGE?

A subconjunctival hemorrhage is a small bleed on the eye that occurs underneath a clear, protective membrane over the eye, called the conjunctiva. While a subconjunctival hemorrhage looks rather scary, they are not a serious problem.

WHAT CAUSES A SUBCONJUNCTIVAL HEMORRHAGE?

There is not always a known cause for subconjunctival hemorrhage. Often, subconjunctival hemorrhages will present after an injury, however; something as innocent as a coughing spell can result in this benign finding. Some patients, such as those taking an aspirin a day or prescription blood thinners, can be predisposed to experiencing subconjunctival hemorrhages.

HOW DO I KNOW I HAVE A SUBCONJUNCTIVAL HEMORRHAGE?

Subconjunctival hemorrhages are painless, they do not itch, and do not interfere with vision. Most people that get a subconjunctival hemorrhage only know that they have one because they looked in the mirror and were alarmed by the sight of their eye.

SHOULD I SEEK TREATMENT?

If the only thing you have noticed is a bright red spot on the white of your eye, treatment is not necessary. However; If there are any other symptoms in conjunction with the red spot, you should notify our office. Pain, changes in vision, light sensitivity, itching, or discharge, are NOT typical of a subconjunctival hemorrhage, and warrants a call to our office to discuss your symptoms or be seen by one of our providers.

For patients that take a daily aspirin or prescription blood thinners, you should notify our office or your primary care provider if you experience 2 or more subconjunctival hemorrhages per month, as your blood levels may need to be evaluated and medication doses may need to be adjusted.

WHAT IS THE RECOVERY PROCESS?

Subconjunctival hemorrhages will self-absorb over the course of 2-3 weeks. There are no eye drops, medications, or treatments to speed this process up. Warm or cool compresses will neither help the problem, nor worsen it. This is simply a benign condition that Mother Nature is best to handle, as cosmetically frustrating as this may be.

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