Overview

A subconjunctival hemorrhage (sub-kun-JUNK-tih-vul HEM-uh-ruj) occurs when a tiny blood vessel breaks just underneath the clear surface of your eye (conjunctiva). The conjunctiva can't absorb blood very quickly, so the blood gets trapped. You may not even realize you have a subconjunctival hemorrhage until you look in the mirror and notice the white part of your eye is bright red.

A subconjunctival hemorrhage often occurs without any obvious harm to your eye. Even a strong sneeze or cough can cause a blood vessel to break in the eye. You don't need to treat it. Your symptoms may worry you. But a subconjunctival hemorrhage is usually a harmless condition that disappears within two weeks or so.

Oct. 26, 2016
References
  1. Riordan-Eva P, et al. Conjunctiva & Tears. In: Vaughan & Asbury's General Ophthalmology. 18th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2011. http://www.accessmedicine.com. Accessed June 6, 2016.
  2. Jacobs DS. Evaluation of the red eye. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 6, 2016.
  3. Longo DL, et al., eds. Disorders of the eye. In: Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 19th ed. New York, N.Y.: McGraw-Hill Education; 2015. http://accessmedicine.com. Accessed June 6, 2016.
  4. Gardiner MF. Conjunctival injury. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 6, 2016.
  5. Subconjunctival hemorrhage causes. American Academy of Ophthalmology. http://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/subconjunctival-hemorrhage-cause. Accessed June 6, 2016.
  6. Stone CK, et al., eds. Eye emergencies. In: Current Diagnosis & Treatment Emergency Medicine. 7th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2011. http://www.accessmedicine.com. Accessed June 6, 2016.

Subconjunctival hemorrhage (broken blood vessel in eye)