The conjunctiva is the clear membrane which covers the white part of the eye (sclera). It protects and lubricates the eyeball and also allows the eye to turn easily. The conjunctiva contains many small, rather fragile blood vessels. Rupture of one of these small vessels or capillaries results in a SUBCONJUNCTIVAL HEMORRHAGE. This appears as a sharply outlined bright red spot on the sclera.Most of the time there are no symptoms, however some patients complain of a sharp pain when it begins. Many people become alarmed by the sudden onset of this common problem, however it is not associated with any diseases which will cause a loss of vision. The hemorrhage tends to fade over thefollowing two to three weeks and clears last in the area next to colored part of the eye (iris).
   The most common cause is simple rubbing of the eyes. This mechanically
distorts the conjunctiva bursting open one of the small blood vessels.Raising the pressure inside the conjunctival veins also can cause a hemorrhage. This occurs with lifting heavy objects, vomiting, sneezing, or coughing. Most of the time an obvious cause is not found. Only rarely is it ever associated with high blood pressure or other bleeding problems.NO TREATMENT is needed in this condition. Happily SUBCONJUNCTIVAL HEMORRHAGES will go away and only be a cosmetic problem for a few days.

© nholland 2002