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Home :: Eye, Subconjunctival Hemorrhage

Eye, Subconjunctival Hemorrhage

Sudden appearance of blood in the white area of the eye (conjunctiva). Although the bleeding may appear frightening, it is not painful or serious.

Subconjunctival hemorrhage tends to be more common among those with diabetes and hypertension.


  • Sometimes caused by injury to the eye, but usually is spontaneous bleeding with no known cause. It may follow coughing, sneezing or vomiting. Risk increases with:
  • Use of mind-altering drugs.
  • Use of anticoagulant drugs.
  • It may occur spontaneously or from coughing, heavy lifting, or vomiting.

Signs and symptoms

A small, painless collection of bright red blood over the white of the eye. Swelling may occur in the affected area of the conjunctiva. The condition doesn't interfere with vision.


Subconjunctival hemorrhages are diagnosed by direct examination.

Blood pressure should be tested. If other areas of bruising or bleeding are present, more specific tests may be needed.


Medical Treatment

Consult a doctor if there has been injury to the eye or a change in vision.

Home Treatment

  • Use cold compresses for several day to prevent additional bleeding. Fold a clean cloth in several layers, dip it in cold water and wring it out a little. Apply it to the eye for 10 minutes every hour.
  • Use warm compresses when signs of bleeding have stopped for 2 days. This will hasten blood absorption. Apply to the eye for 10 to 30 minutes 3 times a day.

Use appropriate equipment to protect the head and face from injury.

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