Burst Blood Vessel in Eye

Burst blood vessel in eye is colloquial name for what we technically know as subconjunctival hemorrhage. Burst blood vessel in eye occurs when the minute blood vessel breaks right underneath the surface of your eye or conjunctiva. A person with this condition may not be aware of its prevalent unless he or she looks in the mirror and notices redness of the sclera or white part of the eye.  The conjunctiva cannot reabsorb the blood faster which is why it remains entrapped under the transparent surface of conjunctiva. Though subconjunctival hemorrhage may seem to be a cause of concern but in most cases it is harmless. The condition often cures on its own within around 10 to 14 days. Burst blood vessel in eye usually occurs without any hazard to your eye. The condition may be an outcome of strong sneeze or even cough that broke the blood vessel.

Symptoms of Burst blood vessel in eye

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There are no certain symptoms associated with burst blood vessels in eye. The only obvious initial symptom that is noticed is occurrence of blood over the sclera of eye. However there are some other possible symptoms which are less often experienced.

In seldom cases people affected with subconjunctival hemorrhage may experience pain when the condition begins. When the condition initially takes place the affected individual may also suffer fullness of the eye or below the eye lid. Some people may also experience mild eye irritation when the hemorrhage resolves.  In some cases the entire eye may be covered with blood. In case of subconjunctival hemorrhage which is spontaneous the blood will not exit from eye. Even if you blot your eye using soft tissue you will find no blood on it. During the first 24 hours the hemorrhage will be more. Later it will gradually diminish as the eye will slowly absorb the blood.

Causes of Burst Blood Vessel in eye

This condition is characterized with redness of the eye. It occurs when one of the minute blood vessels that are present in the sclera gets burst or broken. This causes the blood to spill over the white portion of the eye which gives the eye reddened appearance. This is how primarily, subconjunctival hemorrhage occurs. However, there are also other possible causes which are recorded by experts. These are explained below:


Hypertension or high blood pressure is a common cause of subconjunctival hemorrhage. This is quite a preventable condition if healthy lifestyle is adopted.


Some people may have reddened eye due to stress. Stress can come through different causes such as sick relative, work load, familial pressure, etc.

Coughing and sneezing:

Coughing and sneezing can be a reason behind burst blood vessel in the eye. While sneezing or coughing the pressure exerted on the eye can cause the blood vessels to burst and blood covers the sclera.


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Constipation is another potential cause for subconjunctival hemorrhage. While trying to push the feces out from the body extreme strain exerted may cause the blood vessels in the eye to burst.

There are also some other causes of the condition which may include strain on eyes caused due to lifting heavy weight or during vomiting. In some cases roughly rubbing the eye may rupture any tiny blood vessel in the eye and cause the condition. There are cases wherein eye surgery or invasive eyelid treatment has also caused subconjunctival hemorrhage. It is recorded that even eye infection can cause the blood vessels in the eye to burst.

People who have diabetes or hypertension are at risk of burst blood vessel in eye. It is also crucial to cure illnesses that can lead to severe sneezing and coughing. People who are on treatment with blood thinning drugs such as warfarin and aspirin may also face risk of suffering from subconjunctival hemorrhage. There are also some herbal remedies such as ginkgo which can increase the chances of bleeding in eye.

Tests for burst blood vessel in the eye

If you notice portion of sclera covered in blood then consult your doctor immediately. It is better if you directly approach ophthalmologist to diagnose the condition. You may not need any other test to confirm its prevalence in most cases. Nevertheless, your doctor may record your blood pressure and suggested routine blood test to rule out any underlying serious bleeding

Treatment for Burst blood vessels in eye

Usually to treat this condition you do not need any treatment. The condition cures on its own without any medical intervention within around 10 to 14 days. Your doctor may also suggest you eye-drops in order to get relieve from itchiness and pain if any. You may not need any further treatment once the condition is treated in around 2 weeks. You should consult your doctor again if the redness persists for over 3 weeks. Also you should consult your health advisor if you suffer from subconjunctival hemorrhage again. If burst blood vessels occur in both the eye, then consider meeting your doctor. Apart from this you can anytime consult your health advisor if you develop new symptoms or have questions about the condition.

In some cases it is suggested to seek immediate medical attention if you suffer from sensitivity to light. If you experience alterations with vision or you notice yellowing or white discharged from your eye you should meet your doctor immediately.

Remedies of Burst blood vessel in the eye

Though there is no treatment needed certain home remedies can help in dealing with burst blood vessel in the eye. One of the most effective ways to treat burst blood vessels in eye is by applying cold packs. This reduces the flow of blood and heals the burst blood vessels. You can try wrapping ice cubes in a towel or paper and apply it on the closed eyelid. You can also prepare cotton pads and dip it in cold water; place this pad on your eye; you should repeat this for ten minutes. It is better to take cold rose water instead of plain water. These are some helpful remedies that can be adopted to deal with burst blood vessels in the eye, at least for 10 days or until you seek medical aid.

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