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Subconjunctival Hemorrhage Treatment

What is a subconjunctival hemorrhage?

Subconjunctival hemorrhage is bleeding that begins underneath the conjunctiva.  The conjunctiva is the thin, transparent tissue that covers the outer surface of the eye. It begins at the outer edge of the cornea, covering the visible part of the sclera, and lining the inside of the eyelids. Such as a bruise under the skin that may appear blue or purple, a subconjunctival hemorrhage may appear bright red under the thin transparent conjunctival layer. Some may appear as a small red blotch and other cases may cause the entire sclera to be dark or bright red in colour.

What causes a subconjunctival hemorrhage?

The most common reason for subconjunctival hemorrhage, is increased venous pressure. This includes coughing, sneezing, bowel movements, heavy lifting, vomiting, strain from constipation, or choking. Other causes may be:

  • Eye trauma
  • Coagulation disorders
  • Head injury
  • Whooping cough or other extreme sneezing or coughing
  • Severe hypertension
  • LASIK eye surgery

Although its appearance may be alarming, in general a subconjunctival hemorrhage is a painless and harmless condition; however, it may be associated with high blood pressure, trauma to the eye, or a base of skull fracture which are far more severe in nature and should be paid immediate attention.

What is treatment for subconjunctival hemorrhage?

Just like a bruise, healing will occur on its own over a short period of time. It may also change in shade just as a bruise does and will gradually fade.


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