What Causes Bleeding in the Eyes?

Bleeding in the eyes, also known as subconjunctival hemorrhages, occurs when the tiny blood vessels in your eyes break beneath the surface. The white tissue in your eye is the conjunctiva, and if it becomes unusually red, it could be the sign of a broken blood vessel. Causes include:

  • Trauma to your eye that breaks blood vessels or bursts a vein
  • The effects of taking aspirin or blood thinner medications
  • A sudden increase in blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Laughing, sneezing, or coughing
  • Eye procedures, including LASIK and cataract surgery
  • Retinal vein occlusions
Other potential causes include hypertension and diabetic retinopathy. In rare situations, bleeding in your eye may be the result of a blood clotting disorder or a vitamin K deficiency.

Subjunctive hemorrhages are usually nothing to worry about, but in some cases, they’re a sign of another type of potentially serious eye condition. Left untreated, they can cause scar tissue to form, also known as a wrinkle in the retina, that distorts your vision.

When Should I See My Eye Doctor for Bleeding in the Eyes?

If your symptoms include any of the following, don’t wait to schedule an appointment:

  • Persistent eye redness
  • Eye discharge
  • Changes in vision
  • Floaters
  • Eye pain
  • Sensitivity to light and glare
If you’re not sure what’s causing your eye to bleed, it’s best to come in so Dr. Bertolucci can examine your eye and determine the severity of the condition and administer necessary treatments.

What Is the Treatment for Bleeding in the Eye?

If it’s not severe or related to another health problem, the bleeding in your eye will heal itself. However, if it’s more serious, Dr. Bertolucci creates a customized treatment plan to address your condition. If the subconjunctival hemorrhage is mild but makes your eye irritated, she may recommend eye drops to soothe the scratchy feeling you have in your eye.

Patients who are diabetic, have high blood pressure, or a history of eye conditions should be aware of changes in vision and eye redness of any kind. Regular exams can prevent any potential problems that could lead to permanent vision loss.