Sunday, November 11, 2007
Blood in the Eye
Subconjunctival hemorrhage is a common eye condition that brings many patients into my office in a panic. Although it can look impressive and a bit scary, it is a benign condition that resolves spontaneously in 1-2 weeks. It occurs as a result of a breakage of a small blood vessel under the conjunctiva.
It is often caused by minor trauma such as rubbing the eye, sneezing, coughing or straining. It can occur spontaneously if a person is using aspirin or other medications which interfere with blood clotting mechanisms. The condition should be painless and should not cause any vision change. It is best to avoid wearing contact lenses during this time.
It is important to contact your doctor if the blood occurs in the setting of a major trauma or if the blood appears to surround the iris 360 degrees. This could indicate a penetrating injury and should be evaluated fully.
Image courtesy of: Columbia University Eye Institute.