Blood in the eye may appear as spots or cause complete redness of the eye. Blood stained tears can also be experienced by some people, and although in most cases eye bleeding is not a cause for concern, it can sometimes indicate an underlying problem.
In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr. Sheetal Mahuvakar, Cataract, Cornea and Refractive Surgeon at Retina Foundation in Ahmedabad and Medical Advisor at Entod Pharmaceuticals, revealed, “Bleeding in the eye can occur for various reasons and usually involve broken or bleeding blood vessels on the outer surface of the eye. However, it is always advisable to consult a doctor without wasting time as this can lead to more complications.
Causes of eye bleeding:
According to Dr. Sheetal Mahuvakar, there are many reasons why a person may have blood in their eyes. These include:
● persistent eye trauma, such as the presence of a foreign particle or eye rubbing
● injury to the bones (orbital bones) that surround the eye
● high blood pressure
● wearing contact lenses
● laser eye treatment
● strenuous exercise
● Valsalva maneuver (a method of breathing)
Types of eye bleeds:
There are mainly 3 types of eye bleeding:
1. Subconjunctival hemorrhage – The conjunctiva is the clear outer surface of the eye that covers the white part of the eye. It has delicate and tiny blood vessels that cannot be seen with the naked eye. Subconjunctival hemorrhage occurs when these tiny vessels rupture or leak. As a result, blood gets trapped inside the blood vessel or between the white part of the eye and the conjunctiva, causing a red spot to form. Usually, subconjunctival hemorrhage does not require treatment and resolves within a week.
● eye irritation
● redness on the white part
● a feeling of fullness inside the affected eye
2. Hyphemia – Hyphemia refers to bleeding that occurs between the colored iris and the clear cornea. It results from the collection of blood between the pupil, iris and cornea. The condition usually occurs when there is a tear or damage in the pupil or iris, angular structures. There is also a likelihood that hyphemia develops from the spread of abnormal vessels in the area and resulting leakage, which is commonly seen in diabetic eye conditions and other diseases.
● eye pain
● opacity in the eyes
● blood visible in front of the pupil, iris or both
● blocked or blurred vision
● light sensitivity
3. Other eye hemorrhages – When eye bleeding occurs in the back or back of the eye, it is usually not visible. Sometimes this can cause eye redness. Broken and damaged blood vessels and other problems can cause bleeding inside the eye. Types of deeper eye hemorrhages include:
● subretinal hemorrhage (anywhere below the retina)
● vitreous hemorrhage (in the fluid of the eye)
● submacular hemorrhage (under the macula)
● blurred vision
● see floaters
● vision has a reddish tint
● see flashes of light
● eye swelling
● a feeling of pressure or fullness inside the eye
Treatments for eye bleeds:
Dr. Sheetal Mahuvakar pointed out that the treatment generally depends on the cause of eye bleeding. Subconjunctival hemorrhage usually requires no treatment and heals on its own. Hyphemia as well as deeper ocular hemorrhages may include treatments such as:
● laser surgery to reduce eye pressure
● eye drops to treat pain, inflammation and pressure
● eye surgery in extreme conditions
She said: ‘The eye drops recommended by the eye doctor will depend on the cause of the bleeding. Some examples are antiviral, antibiotic and steroid eye drops. Bleeding from the eyes is a common occurrence and can happen to anyone. However, it’s always a good idea to see an eye doctor for the best advice, after all, it’s all about vision.