Subconjunctival Hemorrhage (cont.)
Andrew A. Dahl, MD, FACS
Andrew A. Dahl, MD, is a board-certified ophthalmologist. Dr. Dahl's educational background includes a BA with Honors and Distinction from Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT, and an MD from Cornell University, where he was selected for Alpha Omega Alpha, the national medical honor society. He had an internal medical internship at the New York Hospital/Cornell Medical Center.
Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP
Dr. Balentine received his undergraduate degree from McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. He attended medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine graduating in1983. He completed his internship at St. Joseph's Hospital in Philadelphia and his Emergency Medicine residency at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in the Bronx, where he served as chief resident.
In this Article
- Subconjunctival Hemorrhage facts
- What is a subconjunctival hemorrhage?
- What causes a subconjunctival hemorrhage?
- What are symptoms and signs of a subconjunctival hemorrhage?
- How is a subconjunctival hemorrhage diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for a subconjunctival hemorrhage?
- Can a subconjunctival hemorrhage be prevented?
- Find a local Eye Doctor in your town
How is a subconjunctival hemorrhage diagnosed?
Your ophthalmologist will take a medical, eye, and medication history to determine what events were leading up to the subconjunctival hemorrhage and will also perform an examination. Your blood pressure may also be checked.
If trauma was the cause, a more thorough examination will usually be performed. Once the diagnosis of subconjunctival hemorrhage is made, your ophthalmologist might be able to tell you the cause and if there is any sign of damage to the eye.
In newborn infants, subconjunctival hemorrhage can occasionally be found as a result of the birth process. Shaken baby syndrome should be considered in young children with subconjunctival hemorrhages in both eyes.
What is the treatment for a subconjunctival hemorrhage?
Usually, no treatment is needed. Over-the-counter artificial tears can be applied to the eye if mild irritation is present. The eye does not require a patch.
The use of aspirin or other medication that inhibits clotting should be avoided. If you are taking aspirin or an anticoagulant for a medical condition, check with your physician to determine whether the medication should be stopped or continued. Do not stop anti-coagulation medicines without physician consultation. These medications are frequently life savers, and they rarely need to be discontinued for a subconjunctival hemmorhage.
If the subconjunctival hemorrhage is trauma-related, your ophthalmologist will determine what other treatment is necessary to promote healing of the injury.
If the subconjunctival hemorrhage is a result of an external infection, your ophthalmologist may prescribe antibiotic drops or an ointment.
This condition clears by itself within one to two weeks. Recovery is usually complete, without any long-term problems, similar to a mild bruise under the skin. Like a bruise, a subconjunctival hemorrhage changes colors (often red to orange to yellow) as it heals. A skin bruise changes to various shades of green, black, and blue as it heals, because the blood is being seen through skin. Because the conjunctiva is transparent, a subconjunctival hemorrhage never has these color characteristics.
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