A subconjunctival hemorrhage (or subconjunctival haemorrhage) is bleeding underneath the conjunctiva. The conjunctiva contains many small, fragile blood vessels that are easily ruptured or broken. When this happens, blood leaks into the space between the conjunctiva and sclera.
Whereas a bruise typically appears black or blue underneath the skin, a subconjunctival hemorrhage initially appears bright red underneath the transparent conjunctiva. Later the hemorrhage may spread and become green or yellow, like a bruise. Usually this disappears within 2 weeks.
Although its appearance may be alarming, a subconjunctival hemorrhage is generally a painless and harmless condition; however, it may be associated with high blood pressure, trauma to the eye, or a base of skull fracture if there is no posterior border of the hemorrhage visible.
Minor eye trauma
Spontaneously with increased venous pressure
Pulling extreme g-forces
Blood dyscrasia (rare)
Blood thinners, such as ginger, capsaicin, ginseng, garlic, aspirin, or Herba if taken in high doses or combined. These can also make the vessels in the eye more susceptible to the pressure causes listed above.
Diving accidents-Mask Squeeze (volume inside in mask creates increased pressure with increased depth)
Severe thoracic trauma, leading to increased pressure in the extremities, including around the eyes.
Subconjunctival hemorrhages in infants may be associated with scurvy (a vitamin C deficiency), abuse or traumatic asphyxia syndrome
Treatment and management
A subconjunctival hemorrhage is typically a self-limiting condition that requires no treatment in the absence of infection or significant trauma. The elective use of aspirin and NSAIDs is typically discouraged.
A common symptom of a subconjunctival hemorrhage, itchy eyes, is often treated by applying eye drops or artificial tears to the affected eye(s), however, this is discouraged, as it may slow down the healing process.
(Thank you and credits to http://en.wikipedia.org/)
Subconjunctival hemorrhage is a bright red patch appearing in the white of the eye. This condition is also called red eye.
A subconjunctival hemorrhage occurs when a small blood vessel breaks open and bleeds near the surface of the white of the eye (bulbar conjunctiva). It may happen without injury, and is often first noticed when you wake up and look in a mirror.
Sudden increases in pressure such as violent sneezing or coughing can cause a subconjunctival hemorrhage. The hemorrhage may also occur in persons with high blood pressure or who take blood thinners.
A subconjunctival hemorrhage is common in newborn infants. In this case, the condition is thought to be caused by the pressure changes across the infant's body during childbirth.
A bright red patch appears on the white of the eye. The patch does not cause pain and there is no discharge from the eye. Vision does not change.
Exams and Tests
The health care provider will perform a physical exam and look at your eyes.
Blood pressure should be tested. If you have other areas of bleeding or bruising, more specific tests may be needed.
No treatment is needed. You should have your blood pressure regularly checked.
A subconjunctival hemorrhage usually goes away on its own in about 1 week.
There are usually no complications.
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Call your health care provider if a bright red patch appears on the white of the eye.
There is no known prevention.
Behrman RE. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 17th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: WB Saunders; 2004; 1045.
Yanoff M, Duker JS, Augsburger JJ, et al. Ophthalmology. 2nd ed. St. Louis, Mo: Mosby; 2004:404-411.
Update Date: 4/13/2009
Updated by: Paul B. Griggs, MD, Department of Ophthalmology, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
Source: Thank you and credits to http://www.nlm.nih.gov/