Subconjunctival Hemorrhage Subconjunctival hemorrhage can be caused by a sudden rise in venous pressure such as coughing heavy lifting sneezing or vomiting. One of the most common surface conditions that leads to dramatic patient concern is the presentation of a subconjunctival hemorrhage. The conjunctiva is mucous membrane that lines the white surface of the eye. A subconjuctival hemorrhage is caused by a ruptured conjunctival blood vessel and usually has a rapid-onset appearance. It usually produces an irregular red patch because of pooling of blood under the conjunctiva. Its appearance is particularly alarming because it is accentuated by the white of the sclera.
The collection of blood like any other bruise under the skin spreads and seems to enlarge. Eventually the blood pigment breaks down to its component parts until it is absorbed. The process can take anywhere from 7 days to a few weeks depending on the size of the hemorrhage.
Subconjunctival hemorrhage can be caused by a sudden rise in venous pressure such as coughing heavy lifting sneezing or vomiting. People who suffer from diabetes or hypertension may be predisposed to this type of hemorrhage. There is no effective treatment for this condition other than reassurance. If more than 2 episodes occur within a year a full medical exam is indicated to rule out associated systemic diseases.