Hey. Does your eye look like this?
If it does, you might have a subconjunctival hemorrhage. Or a broken blood vessel on your eye. If you have this you can contact your optometrist near you at Eyes On Bridgwater and the eye doctor will examine your eyes, tell you what caused it and what you can do to treat it.
So what is a subconjunctival hemorrhage……let’s break this term down. Conjunctiva…. conjunctiva is the multilayers, clear, loose tissue on the surface of the white part of your eye. I has lots of thin blood vessels running it it. If one of these blood vessels gets a break in it, it will start to bleed under the conjunctiva. .. hence the name…subconjunctival hemorrhage.
But this is basically a fancy name for a bruise. When we get a bruise on our arm or leg you get a broken blood vessel under the skin…and the appears through your skin makes it look black or blue. The conjunctiva is clear so when you get here…it looks red.
What causes it? I’m going to give you seven most common reasons for this happening.
- Surgery to the eye…specifically injections in the eye or retina surgery, even laser surgery can cause this from the pressure on the eye…it doesn’t typically occur in cataract surgery
- Bleeding disorder: many people have heard of hemophilia…where you blood doesn’t clot very quickly….but this is pretty rare. There is a more common condition you have probably never heard of called Von Willibrand Disease which can cause this.
- Hypertension: if someone has uncontrolled blood pressure it could cause blood vessels to break more easily
- Blood thinner: if you are on an anticoagulant or blood thinner….typically if they are prescribed if you have heart disease or risk for stroke
- Anything that can cause sudden, temporary increase in BP to your head…..coughing, sneezing, vomiting, heavy lifting or straining…..
- Trauma: obvious one
- Idiopathic: medical term…when something occurs and we have ruled out all the know causes. Basically it means we don’t know.
Differential diagnosis: So what else could cause something like this but is not this….the main thing we are looking for are some rare types of tumours that can cause an appearance similar to this.
What to do:
So you have this…should you see your eye doctor…I would still recommend you see your eye doctor…just to help your differentiate this from similar conditions. And especially if you know it is due to an injury…because an injury that causes this could also cause retinal bleeding, retinal detachments or other inflammation in the eye that may need to be treated.
So you have your optometrists and you have your diagnosis..how can you get this to go away…So I have great news
Resolves in 2 weeks but it you treat it properly it you might resolve within 14 days.
This is a basically a bruise. So the treatment is the same as a bruise…really there is nothing you can do to clear this up faster…it just needs time.
Here are some added pearls.
If you are on a blood thinner…don’t stop it unless you talk to your physician first
It will bother everyone else more than you.
It will spread due to gravity.
It may feel tender.
It won’t affect your vision.
It’s not an infection.
It will change colour as it heals
Anti-redness drops won’t help.
See your optometrist. Especially if it is due to trauma. Your optometrist will check your eye pressure and may check your blood pressure
If this starts happening on a regular basis…..you should see your physician to find out why.
If you need an optometrist or eye doctor in Winnipeg, call us at Eyes on Bridgwater. We will be happy to see you.
Michael Nelson, Optometrist near you in Winnipeg
Eyes on Bridgwater