I woke up with scary looking red eye. My vision is not affected. Should I be worried? What should I do?
A spontaneous, non-painful, non-vision affecting red eye is usually secondary to a conjunctival hemorrhage. This is when blood spots obscure the white of your eye. The eye’s conjunctiva contains a lot of small blood vessels that can rupture. When they break, you get a bright red spot that is visible to people. Often times you are unaware of this, and your attention to it is called out by others.
- Dry eyes
- Systemic hypertension
- Diabetes mellitus
- Blood dyscrasias
- Medications: Blood thinners
The common causes of conjunctival hemorrhage may include, but are not limited to:
Conjunctival hemorrhage usually resolves on its own within a few days to a few weeks, depending on its size. It is often painless, although some foreign body sensation may be felt.
Supportive treatment with ophthalmic lubricants (tear supplements) may provide comfort. Application of a cold compress within the first day may assist clotting. Application of warm compress onwards may assist resolution. The bright red color will spread inferiorly due to gravity, and may involve the entire eyeball, depending on the size of the conjunctival vessel that ruptured. It will change from red, to brown, to yellow, to gray over a week or two.
MD, MBA, DPBO, FPAO, FPCS
Dr. Manolette Roque is a specialist in uveitis, cataract, and refractive surgery. His private practice began in 2000, after his post-graduate fellowship at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Harvard Medical School, in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. His patients are mostly adults who desire spectacle independence. His advocacy includes taking care of individuals with ocular inflammatory diseases.
Everyone deserves the best eye care possible.
MD, DPBO, FPAO, FPCS
Dr. Barbara Roque is a specialist in pediatric ophthalmology, adult strabismus, and ophthalmic genetics. Her private practice began in 2006, after her post-graduate fellowship training at The Children’s Hospital in Westmead, University of Sydney System, Australia. Her patients are mostly children with ocular disease, refractive errors, cataracts, and eye misalignment.