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Subconjunctival Hemorrhage


The Manual's Editorial Staff

Last full review/revision May 2020| Content last modified May 2020
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The conjunctiva is the clear, thin tissue that lines the inside of your eyelid and covers the white of your eye.

What is a subconjunctival hemorrhage?

Sub means under, and hemorrhage means bleeding. So a subconjunctival hemorrhage is a small collection of blood underneath the conjunctiva. The whole white part of your eye or just some of it will be bright red.

  • The blood comes from a small broken blood vessel on the surface of your eye

  • A subconjunctival hemorrhage doesn't affect your vision

  • A subconjunctival hemorrhage may look scary but is harmless unless whatever caused it also damaged other parts of your eye

  • It goes away on its own, usually within 2 weeks

Parts of the Eye

Parts of the Eye

What causes a subconjunctival hemorrhage?

A subconjunctival hemorrhage sometimes just happens. More often it's caused by:

  • A minor eye injury

  • Straining, lifting, or pushing something

  • Throwing up, sneezing, or coughing very hard

What are the symptoms of a subconjunctival hemorrhage?

The only symptom is:

  • Your whole eye or part of it looks red

You won't have any pain or any problem with your vision. If you do, it's a sign that something else may be wrong with your eye.

How can doctors tell if I have a subconjunctival hemorrhage?

Doctors examine your eye and check your vision. You don't need any tests unless you have other symptoms that suggest a serious injury. Such symptoms could be eye or face pain, trouble seeing, a swollen eye, or blood inside your eyeball.

How do doctors treat a subconjunctival hemorrhage?

Doctors don’t treat a subconjunctival hemorrhage because it goes away on its own.

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