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Blood in the White Part of the Eye

If you see blood in the white part of the eye, known medically as a subconjunctival hemorrhage, it may look alarming but in fact it almost always is harmless.

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Blood in the White Part of the Eye

If you see blood in the white part of the eye, known medically as a subconjunctival hemorrhage, it may look alarming but in fact it almost always is harmless. It simply is a small blood vessel in the eye that popped. It could be caused by a variety of reasons, some as mild as coughing or sneezing, and it usually passes on its own within two weeks or so.

Schedule an appointment with our eye doctor if the red spot doesn’t go away within 2-3 weeks, if you are in pain or are experiencing changes in your vision, if there’s more than one red spot or if the blood is located in the colorful part of your eye, known as the iris.

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Symptoms and Causes of Subconjunctival Hemorrhage

A red spot in the white part of the eye is usually not accompanied by any other symptoms, other than a possible scratchy feeling on the surface of your eye. 

The blood vessel that popped is right under the conjunctiva which is a clear membrane that covers the surface of the eye and contains lots of small blood vessels. The blood is not in an area of the eye that affects your vision and that’s why this condition should not cause any changes in your vision. The red spot on your eye may get bigger within a day or two but then it usually starts turning a more yellowish hue as the eye begins to absorb the blood.

The most common causes of a subconjunctival hemorrhage are:

  • Very strong sneezing or coughing
  • Strain 
  • Vomiting 

Sometimes it could result from other factors such as:

  • Rubbing your eye in a rough manner
  • Something stuck in your eye
  • Contact lenses
  • Virus
  • Surgery 

Less common causes are:

  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Certain blood thinning medications
  • Blood clotting conditions

The chances of getting a subconjunctival hemorrhage increase after age 50 since it’s more common in this age group to develop diabetes or high blood pressure, however these illnesses are considered to be uncommon causes for a red spot in the eye.

If you notice these symptoms or experience changes in your vision and find it difficult for you to perform your daily activities, please schedule an eye exam with your eye doctor.

Prevention

Prevention

A red spot in your eye is not always something that can be prevented, however there are certain recommendations of precautions that can be takes such as:

  • Be careful to rub your eyes very gently
  • Take good care of your contact lenses to make sure that they are properly cleaned
  • Wear proper protective gear to prevent eye injury
  • If you have a bleeding disorder, try to keep it under control and you can discuss with your healthcare provider what to do to try to prevent a subconjunctival hemorrhage
Treatment Options for Blood in the White Part of the Eye

Treatment Options for Blood in the White Part of the Eye

Here, we will detail several treatment options if you notice blood in the white part of the eye. However, it's always crucial to remember to consult with an eye care professional if you notice any changes in your eyes, including the appearance of blood in the white part of the eye. Our skilled team is here to help and provide the care you need.

Artificial Tears

If you're experiencing mild discomfort due to blood in the white part of the eye, artificial tears (over-the-counter eye drops) may be suggested to soothe your eyes. They can also help maintain moisture and prevent dryness that could possibly irritate the eye and delay healing.

Treating Underlying Conditions

In some cases, blood in the white part of the eye can be due to other health conditions such as high blood pressure or a bleeding disorder. If this is suspected, we will refer you to the appropriate medical specialist for a comprehensive health evaluation and treatment. Managing the underlying condition effectively can often prevent future episodes.

Surgical Intervention

In rare cases, if blood in the white part of the eye is caused by a serious injury or it's causing significant vision problems, surgical intervention may be necessary. This could involve procedures to repair damage, remove accumulated blood, or treat other underlying issues.

Medication

If an infection or inflammation is causing blood in the white part of the eye, our optometrist may prescribe antibiotics or anti-inflammatory medication. This treatment targets the root cause of the issue, which in turn helps resolve the eye symptoms.

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Blood in the White Part of the Eye: When to Seek Help

Blood in the White Part of the Eye: When to Seek Help

While blood in the white part of the eye can be quite startling, it's not usually a cause for alarm. However, if you notice this symptom, we recommend booking an appointment with your optometrist. This is particularly important if the blood is accompanied by pain, vision changes, or if the blood does not start to fade after a couple of weeks.

At Amplify EyeCare, we take blood in the white part of the eye seriously. Our skilled and caring optometry team is here to help identify the underlying cause of the condition and provide the most effective treatment options.

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Common Questions

You can take a deep breath of relief because a red spot in the eye looks so much scarier than it really is. It almost always is harmless as it’s just a popped blood vessel right under the surface of the eye. You can schedule an appointment with your eye doctor who can check to make sure that there are no underlying conditions which very rarely could be the cause for a red spot in the eye. Most often the appearance of blood at the front of the eye will go away on its own in approximately two weeks or so.
A red spot in the eye can appear without any apparent cause for it. It could be a result of coughing or sneezing too hard so there isn’t really a way to usually prevent the appearance of a red spot in the eye, but there are certain precautions that could be taken in order to prevent more uncommon causes for it. These tips include being careful not to rub your eyes too hard, wear protective gear if your eyes are at risk for an injury and keep your contact lenses clean. Also, if you have a bleeding disorder, consult with your doctor how to keep it under control.
There are many reasons why you may have a red spot or blood spot in your eye. Subconjunctival hemorrhages vary from a small dot to looking like your whole eye is bleeding under the lens. This is caused by a burst blood vessel and is very similar to a bruise. However, the reason why so many people are scared by a bruise in your eye is that it is significantly more visible because it is under the clear and transparent conjunctiva in front part of your sclera. Potential causes include: An eye injury that causes your blood vessels to burst Rubbing your eyes causing a rupture of a blood vessel which leads to a blood spot in your eye Straining from constipation or lifting something heavy can cause burst capillaries A strong sneeze or cough Blood disorders such as sickle cell anemia Frequent usage of blood thinners such as aspirin and interferon While a blood spot in the eye usually means that there is internal bleeding in your eye, also known as subconjunctival hemorrhage, it is generally not something that you should worry about. Though the eye may look frightening, there should be no change in vision, discharge, or pain.
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Summary

When there is blood in the white part of the eye, it tends to look much more alarming than it actually is. It is usually harmless and will go away without requiring treatment. However, if you have any questions or concerns or if you are in pain or there’s changes with your eyesight, please schedule an appointment at our office. Our eye doctor has extensive experience helping people with this condition in our city.

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