What must you do upon waking up in the morning with a bright red blotch on the white portion of your eye? You will certainly be alarmed short of becoming traumatized. However, stay calm because you will not get blind. You could be experiencing a burst blood vessel in the eye. The condition is not serious as it appears. An expert eye doctor or optometrist will tell you that the broken eye blood vessel is a case of subconjunctival hemorrhage.
How Does it Happen?
This kind of hemorrhage occurs when one of the smaller blood vessels below your eye’s threadlike protective layer ruptures or breaks. Eye specialists call this layer the ‘Conjunctiva.’ As a result, this tear creates a red spot on your ‘Sclera’ or the eye’s white part. This is where the blood accumulates. Despite its dreadful appearance, you can consider the burst blood vessel in the eye as a simple discoloration. Besides, the subconjunctival hemorrhage will not affect your vision, cause pain or produce any discharge. However, it would always be advisable to consult an eye doctor right away.
What are the Symptoms?
To start with, you need to know the symptoms of subconjunctival hemorrhage.
- First, a bright red spot emerges on the white of your eye.
- Second, you will experience a slight feeling of fullness beneath your eyelid.
- Third, expect a minor irritation on your eye.
Here’s the bad news. Doctors have not yet determined the exact cause of a burst blood vessel in the eye. However, consider certain factors such as an unexpected increase in your blood pressure, extreme laughter, string sneezing, or lifting heavy weights. These activities can trigger the blood vessel in your eye to erupt. In fact, there are other possible causes of subconjunctival hemorrhage such as the following:
- Acute eye infections
- Surgery on the eye or eyelids
- Forcefully rubbing one’s eye
- Taking medications like Aspirin or Warfarin that affects the blood’s capability to clot or coagulate.
Even then, this is nothing severe and should not be a reason for panic or anxiety. This condition will eventually disappear within two to three weeks until; the redness totally disappears.
Diagnosis and Treatment
A burst blood vessel in the eye normally treats itself. What does this mean? The eye’s conjunctiva tissue gradually absorbs the blood between 10 and 14 days. The recovery is totally complete without having to worry about lasting complications. Using prescription eye drops can alleviate irritation and discomfort. However, these cannot repair ruptured blood vessels.
Diagnosis is not complicated in instances where the subconjunctival hemorrhage happens unexpectedly. Nonetheless, expect complications if you have a history of surgical procedure on the eye, trauma on the head or eyes, or an object enters your eye. In this case, you may require a more comprehensive examination. Likewise, consult a doctor immediately if you experience prolonged bleeding or recurring hemorrhage.
Here’s another professional advice. Have your blood pressure checked if it frequently goes up. You may need additional tests to determine other medical conditions. Consult your optometrist if the burst blood vessel in the eye is the result of an injury. The optometrist may refer you to an ophthalmologist for more exhaustive evaluation. The ophthalmologist is a specialist capable of treating acute eye disorders.
Awareness of Risk Factors & Health Complications
See to it that you are aware of the risk considerations for subconjunctival hemorrhage. These are hypertension or high blood pressure; different kinds of diabetes; blood-clot disorders; and, blood-thinning medications. These include Aspirin, Warfarin, Jantoven Oral and Coumadin (all are anticoagulants). You do not have to worry about health complications which are uncommon. The doctor will check your eye if trauma caused your condition. This is meant to ensure you do not have other eye injuries or complications.
Is Prevention Possible?
Keep in mind that eye vessels can break all of a sudden. Natural reactions can be the main cause. Unfortunately, you cannot prevent a burst blood vessel in the eye. The best option is to observe good eye care practices.
- Visit your optometrist regularly for consultation and possible eye tests.
- Wear protective eyewear when necessary especially during sporting activities.
- If you’re wearing contacts, take care of the lenses.
- Use eye drops as prescribed by the doctor.
It may be possible that bleeding has a specific cause like blood-thinning medication or bleeding condition. Then, seek the doctor’s advice for possible steps to lessen the probability of subconjunctival hemorrhage. Avoid rubbing your eyes. If you need to do so, rub them gently so this will not cause strain or trauma.
How about Treatment
Subconjunctival hemorrhage does not require any form of treatment. Eye drops (sometimes called artificial tears) can help in relieving irritation and discomfort. Again, blood vessels typically heal in two weeks. However, bigger spots might take longer to disappear. The color fades as the blood dissipates just like a bruise.
Do not hesitate to visit your doctor if pain and inflammation comes with the redness. It could be a symptom of more severe disorders like Hyphema. This ailment refers to blood pooling inside the eye’s anterior chamber between the iris and cornea. It may block your eyesight completely or partially. Hyphema can cause excessive pain and permanent vision issues if not treated immediately. Its main cause is trauma with an increase in pressure inside your eye.
Other ailments associated with blood clots are von Willebrand disease and hemophilia. These make subconjunctival disease more prone to happen. The first is a commonly inherited sickness that makes a person easily bleed than normal individuals. Hemophilia refers to a rare condition wherein the blood doesn't clot normally. This is a result of inadequate blood-clotting proteins.
Consultation with Optometrists
Your initial step will be to contact your primary care physician for an appointment. You may be referred to an eye specialist straight away. As a means of preparation, the following is a suggested to-do list:
- List down symptoms that you recently experienced. Include all concerns even if these may not be connected to your eye problem.
- Provide the doctor with your complete personal information to include recent life changes and primary predicaments.
- Inform your doctor with all the medicines, supplements and vitamins that you take along with their doses.
- For subconjunctival hemorrhage, here are essential questions to inquire about:
- What might have caused a burst blood vessel in the eye?
- Is there a possibility for me to experience this again?
- Will I be required to undergo laboratory or other forms of testing?
- Is there a treatment for this kind of hemorrhage?
- Will I be referred to another specialist?
In addition to this preparation, do not hesitate to ask other questions during your consultation including your expectations. Your doctor will surely ask about the symptoms and when you first noticed the red in your eye.
Complete Guide to Eye Health, Conditions and Symptoms
Selected Specsavers Stores is a family-operated enterprise with more than 30 years of experience. It works together with the company’s store partners in providing the best value to patient-customers for optometry, audiology and other healthcare services.
It has facilities all over the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Spain, Australia, and New Zealand. Selected Specsavers Stores employs around 32,500 personnel working across the company’s 1,978 stores, support offices, and throughout the supply chain.
At the same time, this enterprise provides additional eye care services related to eye health. There is no cost to clients because said services are provided on behalf of the UK National Health Service (NHS). A private service is available if NHS services cannot be availed of.
Selected Specsavers Stores believes that people must understand the meaning of good eye health. A person’s eyes can reveal more challenging issues that can affect one’s general health. These are hypertension and diabetes. Symptoms of these disorders may not always be apparent. Therefore, regular eye tests remain a vital factor in health maintenance.
Some Eye Disorders
Some of the common eye problems to watch out for aside from burst blood vessel in the eye are the following:
- Blepharitis (red and inflamed eyelids)
- Cataracts (cloudy patches in the eye lens)
- Chalazion (painless swelling or lump in the eyelid)
- Cloudy or blurred vision
- Color blindness
- Computer eye strain
- Corneal ulcers (swelling of the eye membrane)
- Diabetic retinopathy (caused by diabetes and affects eyes’ small blood vessels)
- Dilated eye pupils
- Double vision
- Dry eye syndrome
- Endophthalmitis (eye tissue inflammation)
- Eye twitching
- Floaters or spots that affect vision
- Glaucoma (disease that affects the optic nerves)
- Itchy eyes
- Hay fever
- Iritis (inflamed iris)
- Lazy eye
- Long sightedness
- Macular degeneration
- Macular hole
- Macular Oedema
- Night blindness
- Ocular hypertension
- Ocular migraines
- Puffy eyes
- Red eye
- Retinal detachment
- Scratched eye
- Snow blindness