If you look in the mirror and find that the white part of one of your eyes is no longer white but is red, you may instantly worry that there is a serious problem. While this might be a sign of a serious issue, it most likely is just a broken blood vessel in your eye. This is a relatively common issue people experience with their eyes, but it is usually nothing to worry about. Here are three things to know about this.
What is a broken blood vessel in the eye?
Your eyes are full of small blood vessels, and these are located primarily in the white part of your eyes. If one of these blood vessels ruptures, it will cause blood to leak into your eye. This will make the white part of your eye turn red. It may affect only part of your eye, or it might affect the entire thing. When this happens, it is called a subconjunctival hemorrhage because the blood vessel breaks in your conjunctiva, which is the clear or white part of your eye.
If this happens to you, the redness in your eye will be easy to see. In addition, your eye might feel itchy, and you may even feel slight pain.
How does this happen?
A blood vessel can break in your eye for no reason at all, or it can occur from the following:
- Too much pressure when you lift a heavy object
- Rubbing your eye too much
- A major sneeze
- Coughing really hard
There are a number of things that can cause this, and you should visit an optometrist if you suspect you have a broken blood vessel in your eye.
How is it treated?
When you visit an optometrist, he or she will examine your eye and will probably be able to diagnose this condition just by looking at your eye. In most cases, the only treatment needed will be eye drops or pain medication if it is causing pain. A broken blood vessel will heal on its own, but it may take a couple weeks for this to happen. As your eye absorbs the blood, the redness in your eye will slowly begin to disappear.
Having a broken blood vessel in your eye can be embarrassing and slightly uncomfortable, but it is not typically a dangerous condition. If you experience this and would like to have your eyes checked, contact an office such as Arizona Eye Specialists.