Subconjunctival hemorrhage: Introduction
Subconjunctival hemorrhage is a common condition of the outer eye. Subconjunctival hemorrhage occurs when a small blood vessel in the eye bleeds into the area of the eye between the sclera (the white part of the eye) and the transparent coating of the eye called the conjunctiva. Subconjunctival hemorrhage can be caused by taking blood thinner medications, a bacterial infection or viral infection of the eye, or by an eye injury. Subconjunctival hemorrhage can also occur due to any activity that causes increased pressure in the blood vessels in the head and neck, such as coughing, sneezing, or straining.
Subconjunctival hemorrhage is also sometimes called red eye because of the hallmark symptom of a bright red patch area on the sclera. To learn more about other symptoms, refer to symptoms of subconjunctival hemorrhage.
Diagnosing subconjunctival hemorrhage begins with taking a thorough medical history, including symptoms, and completing a physical examination that includes an eye examination.
The eye examination is performed to check for other more serious eye diseases and conditions that can cause or mimic subconjunctival hemorrhage. An eye examination includes testing pupil response to light, visual acuity or sharpness of vision, checking the sharpness of peripheral vision, and testing the pressure inside the eye. The outer eye is examined using an instrument called a slit lamp, and the inner eye is examined using an instrument call an ophthalmoscope. Another test involves temporarily staining the eye with a special eye drop that makes a corneal abrasion, visible to the clinician.
If an eye infection or conjunctivitis is suspected as the cause of subconjunctival hemorrhage. A culture and sensitivity test may be performed on discharge from the affected eye. This involves taking a sample of the discharge, growing it in a laboratory, and examining it to determine the type of microorganism that is causing the eye infection so it can be treated.
A diagnosis of subconjunctival hemorrhage may be missed or delayed because symptoms are mild and can be similar to symptoms of other diseases or conditions. To learn more about diseases and conditions that can mimic subconjunctival hemorrhage, refer to misdiagnosis of subconjunctival hemorrhage.
Treatment for subconjunctival hemorrhage varies depending on the underlying cause of subconjunctival hemorrhage. In most cases subconjunctival hemorrhage goes away on its own in about a week. For more details on treatment plans, refer to treatment of subconjunctival hemorrhage. ...more »
Bleeding from one of the tiny, almost invisible blood vessel under the conjunctiva (the clear lining covering the eyeball and the inside of the eyelid). The condition can cause the whites of the eye to develop red patches from the blood trapped under the conjunctiva. Although the condition looks serious, it is painless, doesn't impair vision and requires no treatment as the blood will usually disappear within a few weeks. The condition may occur for no apparent reason or may result from such things as an injury, coughing and heavy lifting. It is more common in people suffering from diabetes and hypertension. ...more »
Subconjunctival hemorrhage: Symptoms
The main symptom of subconjunctival hemorrhage includes red patch or area on the sclera, the white of the eye. There is generally no pain, discharge, or change in vision. If pain, eye discharge, or a change in vision occurs along with a red patch in the eye, it could indicate a more serious underlying or coexisting condition, such as an infection, ...more symptoms »
Subconjunctival hemorrhage: Treatments
Many cases of subconjunctival hemorrhage require no treatment other than monitoring of the condition until it goes away on its own after about a week. It is important to seek prompt medical care if the red patch on the eye does not resolve in this time or if there is a change in vision, eye pain or eye discharge.
Certain underlying causes of ...more treatments »
Subconjunctival hemorrhage: Misdiagnosis
A diagnosis of subconjunctival hemorrhage may be delayed or missed because symptoms of subconjunctival hemorrhage can be similar to symptoms of other diseases and conditions, such as watering eye, conjunctivitis, scleritis, uveitis, choroiditis, dry eye, blepharitis, and corneal ulcer. Many cases of subconjunctival hemorrhage are mild and resolve on their own without ...more misdiagnosis »
Symptoms of Subconjunctival hemorrhage
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