A subconjunctival hemorrhage (sub-kun-JUNK-tih-vul HEM-uh-ruj) occurs when a tiny blood vessel breaks just underneath the clear surface of your eye (conjunctiva). The conjunctiva can't absorb blood very quickly, so the blood gets trapped. You may not even realize you have a subconjunctival hemorrhage until you look in the mirror and notice the white part of your eye is bright red.
A subconjunctival hemorrhage often occurs without any obvious harm to your eye. Even a strong sneeze or cough can cause a blood vessel to break in the eye. You don't need to treat it. Your symptoms may worry you. But a subconjunctival hemorrhage is usually a harmless condition that disappears within two weeks or so.
The most obvious sign of a subconjunctival hemorrhage is a bright red patch on the white (sclera) of your eye.
Despite its bloody appearance, a subconjunctival hemorrhage should cause no change in your vision, no discharge from your eye and no pain. Your only discomfort may be a scratchy feeling on the surface of your eye.
When to see a doctor
If you have recurrent subconjunctival hemorrhages or another bleeding, talk to your doctor.
The cause of a subconjunctival hemorrhage isn't always known. The following actions may cause a small blood vessel to rupture in your eye:
In some cases, a subconjunctival hemorrhage may result from an eye injury, including:
Roughly rubbing your eye
Trauma, such as a foreign object injuring your eye
Risk factors for a subconjunctival hemorrhage include:
High blood pressure (hypertension)
Certain blood-thinning medications, such as warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven) and aspirin
Health complications from a subconjunctival hemorrhage are rare. If your condition is due to trauma, your doctor may evaluate your eye to ensure you don't have other eye complications or injury.
If the bleeding in your eye has a clearly identifiable cause, such as a bleeding disorder or blood-thinning medication, ask your doctor if you can take any steps to reduce the risk of a subconjunctival hemorrhage.
If you need to rub your eyes, rub your eyes gently. Rubbing your eyes too hard can cause minor trauma to your eyes, which may lead to a subconjunctival hemorrhage.
Red-Eye can be alarming but is often just a sign of a minor eye condition, such as conjunctivitis or a burst blood vessel. If it's painful, there may be a more serious problem.
The following information aims to give you a better idea about what might be causing your red-eye. But it shouldn't be used to self-diagnose your condition. Always see a doctor for a proper diagnosis and treatment.
When to get medical advice
See your GP for advice if you have a red-eye that doesn't start to improve after a few days.
Contact your Doctor If,
you have a painful red eye
you have other symptoms, including any changes in your vision, sensitivity to light, a severe headache and feeling sick
you've recently injured your eye, particularly if something has pierced it
Common causes of a painless red eye
The most likely causes of a painless red eye are minor problems such as conjunctivitis or a burst blood vessel. These conditions don't tend to affect your vision and usually get better within a week or two.
Conjunctivitis causes the blood vessels on the eye to swell, making one or both eyes look bloodshot and feel gritty.
Other symptoms can include itchiness and watering of the eyes, and a sticky coating on the eyelashes.
Conjunctivitis can be caused by an infection, an allergy (for example, to pollen), or an irritant like chlorine or dust.
Treatment will depend on what's causing the condition. Sometimes treatment isn't needed because it may get better on its own.
Read more about treating conjunctivitis.
Burst blood vessel in the eye
Picture of bleeding in an eye
Straining, coughing or injuring your eye can sometimes cause a blood vessel to burst on the surface of the eye, resulting in a bright red blotch.
It can look alarming, particularly if you're taking medication like aspirin or warfarin as these reduce the blood's ability to clot, which can exaggerate the redness, but it's not usually serious and should clear up on its own within a few weeks.
Common causes of a painful red eye
If your red eye is painful or you have other symptoms, such as changes in your vision, it should be assessed by a doctor as soon as possible.
Uveitis is inflammation of the iris, the coloured part of the eye. It's also known as iritis.
As well as a red-eye, your eye may be sensitive to light, your vision may be blurred, and you may have a headache.
Uveitis usually responds quickly to treatment with steroid medication to reduce the inflammation. It rarely leads to severe problems.
Glaucoma is an eye condition where the optic nerve, which connects your eye to your brain, becomes damaged.
Your eye will probably be very red and painful, and you may feel sick and see halos around lights. Your vision may be blurred or cloudy.
If your Doctor thinks you may have glaucoma, they'll refer you to an eye specialist called an ophthalmologist immediately. This is because it could lead to a permanent loss of vision if not treated quickly.
Corneal ulcer (ulcer on the cornea)
An ulcer on the cornea, the clear outer layer at the front of the eyeball, can make the eye red and sensitive to light. It can also feel like there's something in your eye.
People who wear contact lenses have an increased risk of getting bacterial corneal ulcers. Viral corneal ulcers are more likely to affect people who often get cold sores.
If your GP thinks you have a corneal ulcer, they'll refer you to an eye specialist for treatment.
A scratch to the cornea or particle in the eye
A red and painful eye can sometimes be caused by a particle, such as a piece of grit, getting in your eye.
If there's something in your eye, your GP or a hospital doctor at an A&E department will try to remove it. They'll first put anaesthetic eye drops into your eye to numb it and reduce further discomfort.
If the particle has scratched your eye, it may feel a bit uncomfortable when the anaesthetic wears off. You may be given antibiotic eye drops or ointment to use for a few days to reduce the risk of infection while it heals.
Burning eyes can have several possible causes, ranging from the simple to the complex, and the burning sensation can occur with or without other symptoms such as itching, eye pain, watery eyes or discharge.
Frequently, burning eyes are caused by unavoidable environmental influences, such as strong winds or high pollen counts. However, similar sensations can be symptoms of a more serious eye problem that requires medical attention. To select appropriate treatment, it's important to first establish the cause (or causes) of your burning eyes.
"Why Do My Eyes Burn?" — Causes Of Burning Eyes
Sometimes it's easy to tell what's causing an eye to burn. For example, your eyes might burn if you get chemicals in them, such as shampoo ingredients, chlorine from a swimming pool, or sunscreen. Other common irritants that can make your eyes burn include makeup, skin moisturizers, soap and cleaning products.
Woman who is rubbing her burning eyes.
Burning eyes can have many causes. A trip to the eye doctor is the best way to get relief.
Wearing contact lenses for long periods of time also can make your eyes burn.
Burning eyes also can stem from environmental irritants like smog, smoke, dust, mold, pollen or pet dander. If you are allergic to any of these substances, they are even more likely to make your eyes burn. However, even "clean" air can cause your eyes to burn, especially when it's particularly hot, cold or dry.
Although getting something in your eyes can cause them to burn, burning eyes sometimes signal a serious eye condition. For example, conditions such as ocular rosacea, dry eyes and blepharitis can cause symptoms of burning eyes.
In fact, anything that causes inflammation can create a burning sensation. Eye allergies, as well as bacterial and viral eye infections, can cause inflammation that leads to burning eyes. Even a common cold or the flu can cause eyes to burn.
In rare instances, burning eyes can be a sign of a serious sight- or life-threatening condition such as uveitis or orbital cellulitis
Often, burning eyes occur alongside other symptoms that can give your eye doctor clues about the root cause of your discomfort. For example, when burning eyes occur with itching, it may signal allergies; or if you have burning and eye discharge, this could mean an infection.
How To Get Relief From Burning Eyes
If a household product gets in your eyes and causes burning, the first thing you should do is check the product label for specific instructions. In many cases, you will be able to safely rinse your eyes to alleviate the burning sensation.
For example, children and adults often get sunscreen in their eyes during the warmer months. Though the burning or stinging may initially be significant, rinsing your eyes gently with clean water often will provide quick relief. (See sidebar below: "What to Do if You Get Sunscreen in Your Eyes.")
If you are taking an allergy medication, or any other medication that you believe is causing your eyes to burn, make sure you discuss your concerns with your doctor before discontinuing use.
Burning eyes caused by a dry eye condition usually can be relieved with frequent use of lubricating eye drops (also called artificial tears). When selecting a brand of artificial tears, consider one that is preservative-free — particularly if you plan to use the drops frequently. If your discomfort continues, let your doctor know, since there are other dry eye treatments that may be more effective and also help relieve your burning eyes.
Cool compresses gently applied over your closed eyelids also can help soothe burning eyes.
When To Call A Doctor
If your burning eyes are accompanied by pain or excessive light sensitivity, or if you have any eye discharge, blurred vision, eye floaters or flashes of light, double vision or other unexpected symptoms, contact your eye doctor right away for immediate attention.
Even if none of these additional symptoms occur, you should contact your eye doctor if your eyes continue to burn for more than a few days.
DID YOU KNOW?
What To Do If You Get Sunscreen In Your Eyes
Sunscreen is an absolute must for both children and adults to protect skin from the sun's dangerous UV rays. But these products cause more than their fair share of burning eyes.
Woman whose eye is burning because of sunscreen.
Getting sunscreen in your eyes at the beach is a common cause of burning eyes.
Although sunscreen won't usually cause any permanent damage, if you get it in your eyes it can cause significant discomfort and eye inflammation.
If you get sunscreen in your eyes, the first thing you should do is remove your contact lenses. Next, flush your eyes with a lubricating eye drop or artificial tear if you have either product handy. If not, you can use tap or fresh bottled water.
(It's important to know, though, that tap water can harbor microorganisms that can cause serious eye infections such as Acanthamoeba keratitis. So it's always a good idea to take a bottle of sterile eye wash liquid or artificial tears with you to the beach.)
Cold, wet compresses over closed eyes also help ease the sting of sunscreen in the eyes.
You can help the burning subside even quicker by frequently applying preservative-free lubricating eye drops (every 20 minutes or so) until you feel better.
Also, if you wear contact lenses, consider switching to daily disposable contacts so you can immediately replace your lenses with fresh ones if you get a pair contaminated with sunscreen.
Vision is one of our most important senses. Reduced vision that triggers the need for corrective glasses is one of the most common disorders associated with the eyes. Crossed eyes are another such common disorder that affects the eyes. In medical terms it is also known as Strabismus. This condition is a result of miscommunication between the brain and the eye muscles that result in misalignment of the eyes. It is largely a hereditary condition and should not be confused with a lazy eye syndrome.
Crossed eyes can cause double vision and disorientation. Your depth perception may also be affected. It also causes eye strains and headaches that affect the quality of your life. This condition is seen mostly in children. If not treated in time, it can continue into the adult years as well. The development of crossed eyes in adults who have not suffered from this condition as children is usually a sign of a serious condition such as a stroke.
Some symptoms characteristic of this condition are:
1.Independent movement of eye balls
2.Tilting the head to a side
4.Varied points of reflection in each eye
5.Frequently bumping into things as a result of impaired depth perception.
Treatment for this condition can be surgical as well as non surgical. Non surgical treatment aims at strengthening the eye muscles and treating the visual system as a whole. The aim is to not allow the eye to become lazy or amblyopic. Wearing an eye patch over the strong eye and forcing the weak eye to be used is one of the most common form of this treatment. Corrective glasses can also be used to treat this condition in cases where it has been triggered by excessive farsightedness. In some cases, medication may also be injected into the eye to relax the eye muscles.
Surgery to correct this disorder involves correcting vision by strengthening or weakening the eye muscles. To do this, a surgeon must first make a small incision in the outer layer of the eyeball to reach the affected muscles. To strengthen the muscle a small section is removed from the muscle and the remaining part is then rejoined. This makes the muscle shorter and forces the eye to turn towards that side. Alternatively, the doctor may make a partial cut across the muscle to elongate it and let the eye turn further away from it.
Between myopia or short sightedness and hypermetropia or farsightedness, the latter is less common. However, this does not make it any less important. Farsightedness or long sightedness refers to a refractive error in the eye lens that creates problems focusing on objects nearby. This is because the light entering the eye does not converge on the retina but does so behind the retina.
Long sightedness can be caused by a number of factors. Some of these are:
Structural problems with the eye: Some people are born with structural problems. This is one of the leading causes of long sightedness. These structural conditions include:
1. A cornea that is not steep enough
2. A short eyeball
3. A flattened lense
4. A thicker than normal lense
Age: Long sightedness rarely affects children. This is a condition that becomes noticeable after the age of 40 in most cases. With age the lenses in the eyes become stiffer and do not curve normally. This is known as presbyopia.
Genetics: As with myopia, hypermetropia is also triggered by genetic faults. If someone in your family suffers from this then chances are that you will too. However, the specific genes that transfer this condition from one generation to the next have not been discovered as yet.
Underlying conditions: Long sightedness is also triggered by underlying conditions such as diabetes, under development of a baby's eye during pregnancy (read more about diabetes and pregnancy), orbital tumours and problems with the blood vessels in the retina.
Not being able to read a book clearly is one of the most common symptoms of long sightedness. Some of its other symptoms are:
1. Needing to squint to focus on objects
3. Pain or burning in the eyes
4. Fatigue caused by reading, writing or working on a computer
5. Red and watery eyes
Long sightedness can be correctly diagnosed only with a thorough eye examination. Hence it is essential to schedule one regularly. This becomes more important as a person gets older. If left untreated, it can lead to double vision which in turn can trigger two possible eye problems.
Strabismus: This is a condition where the eyes get misaligned and hence do not work in tandem. People suffering from this condition find their eyes focusing on two independent objects instead of seeing the same thing.
Amblyopia: Double vision can make one eye more dominant than the other. This makes the muscles of one eye degenerate at higher rate than the other making it lazy. This is known as amblyopia.