Subconjunctival Hemorrhage

What is a subconjunctival hemorrhage?

A subconjunctival hemorrhage is when blood collects under the conjunctiva in your eye. The conjunctiva is the clear lining that covers the white part of your eye. The blood comes from broken blood vessels under the conjunctiva.

What causes a subconjunctival hemorrhage?

The exact cause of your subconjunctival hemorrhage may not be known. The following are common causes:

  • An accident or injury to the eye

  • Hard coughs or sneezes

  • Medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or a bleeding disorder

  • Strain, such as when you lift a heavy object or have a bowel movement

  • Blood thinning medicines

  • Vomiting

What are the signs and symptoms of a subconjunctival hemorrhage?

The most common sign is a red patch on the white part of your eye. The redness may be present for 2 to 3 weeks. You may have mild pain when you move your eye.

How is a subconjunctival hemorrhage diagnosed?

Your caregiver will examine your eye and check your vision. You may need tests to check for an underlying medical condition.

How is a subconjunctival hemorrhage treated?

A subconjunctival hemorrhage usually goes away on its own. You may need any of the following to help manage your symptoms:

  • Cold or warm compress: Use a cold pack during the first 24 hours. Ask how often to apply it and for how long each time. After the first 24 hours, apply a warm pack on your eye. Do this 3 times each day for about 10 to 15 minutes each time.

  • Eyedrops: You may need artificial tears to keep your eye moist. Use the drops as directed.

When should I contact my caregiver?

Contact your caregiver if:

  • The redness in your eye has not gone away after 3 weeks.

  • You have another subconjunctival hemorrhage.

  • You have subconjunctival hemorrhages in both eyes.

  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

When should I seek immediate care?

Seek care immediately or call 911 if:

  • You have eye pain or sensitivity to light.

  • Your vision changes.

  • You have white or yellow discharge from your eye.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. 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.

© 2013 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

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