What is the treatment for a subconjunctival hemorrhage?
Usually, no treatment is needed. Over-the-counter artificial tears can be applied to the eye if mild irritation is present. The eye does not require a patch.
The use of aspirin or other medication that inhibits clotting should be avoided. If you are taking aspirin or an anticoagulant for a medical condition, check with your physician to determine whether the medication should be stopped or continued. Do not stop anti-coagulation medicines without physician consultation. These medications are frequently life savers, and they rarely need to be discontinued for a subconjunctival hemorrhage.
If the subconjunctival hemorrhage is trauma-related, an ophthalmologist will determine what other treatment is necessary to promote healing of the injury.
If the subconjunctival hemorrhage is a result of an external infection, an ophthalmologist may prescribe antibiotic drops or an ointment.
This condition clears by itself within one to two weeks. Recovery is usually complete, without any long-term problems, similar to a mild bruise under the skin. Like a bruise, a subconjunctival hemorrhage changes colors (often red to orange to yellow) as it heals. A skin bruise changes to various shades of green, black, and blue as it heals, because the blood is being seen through skin. Because the conjunctiva is transparent, a subconjunctival hemorrhage never has these color characteristics.
Very rarely, with recurrent subconjunctival hemorrhage in the same location in the same eye, there may be an abnormal fragile capillary within the conjunctiva that has thin walls and tends to bleed spontaneously. An ophthalmologist can identify such a condition and close this non-essential blood vessel using heat, either from a laser or a diathermy unit.