A subconjunctival hemorrhage occurs when one of the blood vessels on the white part of the eye breaks. This blood then becomes trapped between the white part of the eye and the clear tissue above it. This is usually a benign condition that causes no visual problems and minimal, if any, discomfort despite its appearance.
Although we often don’t know what causes this bleeding, the following are some potential causes.
• Eye trauma can cause a blood vessel to break
• A sudden increase in blood pressure, such that can occur when lifting something heavy, sneezing or coughing
• Aspirin or blood thinners such as warfarin
• Rarely, a blood clotting disorder or Vitamin K deficiency
The hemorrhage will typically resolve in 1-2 weeks. As it resolves, it will often change colors, much like a bruise.
Artificial tears can be helpful if you have any discomfort associated with the hemorrhage.
If you are taking aspirin or a blood thinner, do not discontinue their use unless directed by your doctor.