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Sub-Conjunctival Hemorrhage

A subconjunctival hemorrhage occurs on the surface of the eye. It is caused by a rupture of a small blood vessel under the conjunctiva, the transparent outermost protective covering of the eye. This allows blood to spread under this tissue, often causing a dramatic presentation. However, in the majority of patients it is of no consequence but may take several weeks to completely resolve or be reabsorbed into the vascular system.

Generally, physical exertion, straining, coughing, or sneezing may be responsible for a rupture of a small blood vessel under the subconjunctival area; however, frequently no cause can be identified.

The standard recommended treatment is to apply cold compresses several times per day for 2 days to reduce any additional blood flow into the area followed by warm compresses to facilitate reabsorption.

If subconjunctival hemorrhages reoccur two or more times in a year, vascular system disease must be ruled out.