Subconjunctival Hemorrhage

So you wake up and you see your eye is really red like this picture below.  It scares you to death!  The eye doesn’t hurt and it doesn’t seem to be affecting the vision.  So what’s the problem?
Although this looks awful, it is one of the most harmless things that can happen to your eye.  It is what we call a subconjunctival hemorrhage.  The blood vessels on the white part of the eye can be very brittle and may burst with the slightest pressure change.  So it can happen when a person coughs, sneezes, bends over to pick something up, lifts something heavy, or hangs upside down.  It can also happen spontaneously.
It clears up within days to weeks without any insult to the eye. If it recurs, then we have to consider blood tests to rule out decreased platelet count that can occur in people with anemia and other disorders.  If there’s any pain, vision decrease, swelling, or discharge, then it’s more than just a bleed and should be seen. 

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