The most obvious sign of a subconjunctival hemorrhage is a bright red patch on the white (sclera) of your eye.
Despite its bloody appearance, a subconjunctival hemorrhage should cause no change in your vision, no discharge from your eye and no pain. Your only discomfort may be a scratchy feeling on the surface of your eye.
When to see a doctor
If you have recurrent subconjunctival hemorrhages or other bleeding, talk to your doctor.
The cause of a subconjunctival hemorrhage isn't always known. The following actions may cause a small blood vessel to rupture in your eye:
- Violent coughing
- Powerful sneezing
In some cases, a subconjunctival hemorrhage may result from an eye injury, including:
- Roughly rubbing your eye
- Trauma, such as a foreign object injuring your eye
Risk factors for a subconjunctival hemorrhage include:
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Certain blood-thinning medications, such as warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven) and aspirin
- Blood-clotting disorders
Health complications from a subconjunctival hemorrhage are rare. If your condition is due to trauma, your doctor may evaluate your eye to ensure you don't have other eye complications or injury.