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Broken Blood Vessels In The Eye - Causes And Treatment

By Essilor News

Looking in the mirror and noticing that the white part of your eye has turned bright red can be pretty alarming. Your first thought might be that your eyeball is bleeding. What has actually happened is a subconjunctival hemorrhage, which is the breakage of tiny blood vessels just underneath the surface of your eye. As scary as it may look, broken blood vessels in your eye are usually harmless and disappear within a few weeks.

Causes
It's not always possible to figure out what causes blood vessels in the eye to break, but some potential causes include the following:

  • An increase in blood pressure as a result from heavy lifting, coughing, sneezing, or vomiting
  • Eye trauma
  • Inserting contact lenses
  • Eye rubbing
  • Severe eye infection

Some people are more prone to suffering from broken blood vessels in the eye. Some risk factors for subconjunctival hemorrhage include diabetes, blood thinners (i.e. aspirin), high blood pressure, and blood-clotting disorders.

Treatment
The redness in the eye from broken blood vessels usually goes away naturally after a week or two. Artificial tears can soothe the eyes but will not repair any broken blood vessels. Rubbing the eye can increase the risk of excess bleeding right after onset, so avoid rubbing your eyes for as long as possible.

It is rare that health complications arise due to broken blood vessels in the eyes. If trauma caused the subconjunctival hemorrhage, your eye doctor will probably evaluate your eye to make sure there aren't any other eye complications or injuries.

If you experience eye redness lasting longer than two weeks accompanied by pain or vision changes, you should call your eye doctorimmediately as it could be a sign of other eye problems.

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