Subconjunctival Hemorrhage (cont.)

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What are symptoms and signs of a subconjunctival hemorrhage?

Most of the time, no symptoms are associated with a subconjunctival hemorrhage other than seeing blood over the white part of the eye.

  • Very rarely people experience pain when the hemorrhage begins. When the bleeding first occurs, you may notice a sense of fullness in the eye or under the lid. As the hemorrhage resolves, some people may feel very mild irritation of the eye or merely a sense of awareness of the eye.
  • The hemorrhage itself is an obvious, sharply outlined bright red area overlying the sclera. The entire white part of the eye may occasionally be covered by blood.
  • In a spontaneous subconjunctival hemorrhage, no blood will exit from the eye. If you blot the eye with a tissue, there should be no blood on the tissue.
  • The hemorrhage will appear larger within the first 24 hours after its onset and then will slowly decrease in size as the blood is absorbed.

Call your ophthalmologist (a medical doctor who specializes in eye care and surgery) if the subconjunctival hemorrhage does not get better within two weeks or if it has happened multiple times.

Also, call your ophthalmologist if you have a hemorrhage in both eyes at the same time or if the subconjunctival hemorrhage coincides with a new onset of easy bruising or bleeding gums.

Go to your ophthalmologist immediately if the subconjunctival hemorrhage is associated with

  • pain,
  • changes in vision (for example, blurry vision, double vision, difficulty seeing),
  • a history of recent injury or trauma,
  • a history of bleeding disorder, or
  • a history of high blood pressure.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/5/2014

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