to About the Eye
Subconjunctival Hemorrhage

    A sudden filling or partial filling of the
    whites of the eye with blood is referred
    to as a subconjunctival hemorrhage.  It
    usually follows a trauma to the eye or
    even occurs after coughing or
    sneezing.   The use of alcohol or
    certain drugs that thin the blood
    (anticoagulants) can contribute to a
    subconjunctival hemorrhage during the
    coughing or sneezing episodes.


A bright red blood patch covering a portion of the whites of the eye is the most obvious symptom.  The red
patch may become larger the day following the initial hemorrhage. The condition is usually painless.  Mild
discomfort may result from swelling on the outermost layer of the eye.  Vision is usually not affected but
your eye doctor will want to perform some simple tests to be certain.


The bright red blood spot will fade and disappear after a few weeks.  To relieve any discomfort from
swelling and to prevent additional bleeding, apply cold compresses several times a day for the first day or

After a couple of days, you can apply warm compresses several times a day to aid in the healing process.
 A clean washcloth dipped in cold or warm water works but a hot water bottle works best.  

Note:  If vision begins to change, call your doctor immediately.  Something else may have been affected.  

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Midwest Retina Associates, Inc.