DefinitionBy Mayo Clinic staff
A subconjunctival hemorrhage (sub-kon-junk-TIH-vul HEM-uh-rij) occurs when a tiny blood vessel breaks just underneath the clear surface of your eye (conjunctiva). You may not realize you have a subconjunctival hemorrhage until you look in the mirror and find the white part of your eye is bright red.
The conjunctiva can't absorb the blood very quickly, so the blood is trapped under this transparent surface. A subconjunctival hemorrhage may worry you, but it's usually a harmless condition that disappears within 10 to 14 days.
Subconjunctival hemorrhage often occurs without any obvious harm to your eye, or it may be the result of a strong sneeze or cough that caused a broken blood vessel. You don't need any specific treatment for a subconjunctival hemorrhage.
- Subconjunctival hemorrhage. American Academy of Ophthalmology. http://www.aao.org/eyesmart/diseases/subconjunctival-hemorrhage.cfm. Accessed Nov. 21, 2010.
- Other conjunctival disorders. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/sec09/ch101/ch101d.html. Accessed Nov. 21, 2010.
- Ahmed RM, et al. Diagnosis and management of the acute red eye. American Journal of Medicine. 2008;26:35.
- Robertson DM (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Nov. 27, 2010.