Subconjunctival Hemorrhage

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:

  • A subconjunctival (sub-kon-jungk-TI-val) hemorrhage (HEM-oh-rij) is bleeding over the white of the eye. The conjunctiva is the clear lining that covers the white of your eye. The bleeding is from a tiny broken blood vessel under the conjunctiva (kon-junk-TI-vah). You may be surprised to see the bleeding spread, or "thin out", for up to two days after the blood vessel breaks. The bleeding will not hurt your eye or change your eyesight.
    Picture of a normal eye


  • An eye injury, coughing, sneezing, or vomiting (throwing up) may have caused your subconjunctival hemorrhage. Other causes may be lifting something heavy, high blood pressure, or straining while having a BM. Sometimes it is not known what caused the bleeding. You may see a patch of bright red blood over the white of your eye. With time the color changes to brown or green before going away. No special care is usually needed to treat your eye.

AFTER YOU LEAVE:

Medicines:

  • Keep a written list of the medicines you take, the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list of your medicines or the pill bottles when you see your caregivers. Learn why you take each medicine. Ask your caregiver for information about your medicine. Do not use any medicines, over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, herbs, or food supplements without first talking to caregivers.

  • Always take your medicine as directed by caregivers. Call your caregiver if you think your medicines are not helping or if you feel you are having side effects. Do not quit taking your medicines until you discuss it with your caregiver. If you are taking medicine that makes you drowsy, do not drive or use heavy equipment.

How can I take care of my eye?

  • Try not to worry about how your eye looks. Within two to three weeks, the blood will be gone and your eye will look normal.

  • You may continue your usual daily activities. However, do not do heavy exercise such as running or lifting heavy objects for the next 24 hours.

  • See your caregiver if you have subconjunctival hemorrhages often. Your caregiver may want to do tests to see if there are other reasons why you are having the hemorrhages.

CONTACT A CAREGIVER IF:

  • You have eye pain.

  • You have very bad headaches.

  • Your vision (seeing) changes.

  • Your eye bleeding is not gone in three weeks.

  • You have bleeding or bruising in other parts of your body.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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