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Broken Capillaries in Eye

Broken Capillaries in Eye

A subconjunctival hemorrhage can cause the appearance of a bright red patch or spot on the white portion (the sclera) of the eye. Find out more about this condition, and what can cause it, through this HealthHearty article.
Chandramita Bora
Last Updated: Apr 22, 2018
Burst blood vessels in the eye is usually not a major medical condition, and can occur without any injury to the eye. The capillaries or blood vessels present underneath the conjunctiva can break down due to some minor factors, like forceful sneezing and vomiting.
Bleeding can occur whenever the tiny and fragile capillaries of the eyes rupture, and this can cause the white portion of the eye or the sclera to appear red. The transparent conjunctiva cannot absorb the blood quickly, for which the blood remains trapped for a while. This causes the red spot on the sclera to last for a few days, until the blood is absorbed completely. This condition is known as a subconjunctival hemorrhage.
What Causes Blood Vessels to Burst in the Eye?
It can be caused by several factors, of which some are minor and do not cause any serious injury to the eye. For example, the fragile capillaries in the eye can break due to forceful sneezing or coughing. Even vomiting and lifting a heavy object can cause a subconjunctival hemorrhage or burst blood vessel in the eye.
Sometimes, bleeding can be caused by a minor injury or trauma to the eye or some eye diseases. Factors that can increase the pressure inside the eye can also cause this condition. In general, it has been observed that some medications, medical conditions, and herbs or herbal supplements can increase the risk of a subconjunctival hemorrhage.
Usually, people with high blood pressure and diabetes are at an increased risk of experiencing this condition. Even newborns can get this condition, if they are subjected to pressure changes during delivery. Among medications, blood thinning medications like warfarin and aspirin, and hypertension medications can raise the risk of subconjunctival hemorrhages. Certain herbs and herbal supplements, like gingko biloba, ginseng, and garlic may also increase the risk of developing broken blood vessels in the eye.
Symptoms of Subconjunctival Hemorrhage
Redness of the eye or the appearance of a bright red patch on the white portion of the eye is the most common, and usually the only symptom of this condition. It does not cause any pain, eye discharge, and vision problems. The only discomfort that can be experienced is the redness of the eye, while some individuals may also experience a scratchy feeling on the surface of the eye.
Treatment of Subconjunctival Hemorrhage
Broken capillaries and the resulting bleeding usually do not require any medical intervention. The bright red patch or the spot on the surface of the eye usually goes away within a couple of days. In the meantime, eye drops or artificial tears can be used to soothe the eye. Other than this, no treatment is required.
As mentioned already, a subconjunctival hemorrhage can also be caused by certain medical conditions and medications at times. For example, glaucoma, diabetes, eye infections, and conjunctivitis are some common conditions that can cause redness of the eye. Therefore, it is important to get the eyes checked up if you observe any bright red patch on the sclera. This would help rule out the possibility of serious medical conditions.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be replaced for the advice of a medical professional.