Blood in the eye: Causes, types, symptoms and treatment for eye bleeding – Hindustan Times

Updated on Aug 10, 2022 11:43 AM IST
While in most cases eye bleeding isn’t a cause of concern but at times, it can also point to an underlying issue. Doctor reveals the causes, types, symptoms and treatment for blood in the eye
Blood in the eye: Causes, types, symptoms and treatment for eye bleeding (Twitter/Jack_Froot)
Blood in the eye: Causes, types, symptoms and treatment for eye bleeding (Twitter/Jack_Froot)
ByZarafshan Shiraz, Delhi

Blood in the eye can appear as blotches or cause complete redness of the eye. Blood-stained tears may also be experienced by some people and while in most cases eye bleeding isn’t a cause of concern, at times, it can also point to an underlying issue.

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Sheetal Mahuvakar, Cataract, Cornea and Refractive Surgeon at Retina foundation in Ahmedabad and Medical Adviser at Entod Pharmaceuticals, revealed, “Eye bleeding can happen due to various reasons and typically involves broken or bleeding blood vessels on the eye’s outer surface. However, it is always advisable to consult a doctor without losing time as it may set about more complications.”

Causes of eye bleeding:

According to Dr Sheetal Mahuvakar, there are plenty of reasons why a person may experience blood in the eyes. These include:

● persisting trauma to the eye, like the presence of a foreign particle or rubbing the eye

● tumour

● conjunctivitis

● injury to the bones (orbital bones) that surround the eye

● hypertension

● contact lens use

● coughing

● laser eye treatment

● sneezing

● strenuous exercise

● vomiting

● Valsalva manoeuvre (a breathing method)

Types of eye bleeding:

There are primarily 3 types of eye bleeding:

1. Subconjunctival Haemorrhage – The conjunctiva is the clear outer surface of the eye which covers the eye’s white part. It has delicate, tiny blood vessels that are unobservable by the naked eye. Subconjunctival haemorrhage occurs when these tiny vessels break 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 patch to form. Usually, subconjunctival haemorrhage doesn’t require any treatment and clears up within a week.


● irritation in the eye

● redness on the white part

● a feeling of fullness inside the affected eye

2. Hyphaemia – Hyphaemia refers to bleeding that occurs between the coloured iris and the clear cornea. It results from the collection of blood between the pupil, iris and cornea. The condition usually happens when there’s a tear or damage in the pupil or iris, angle structures. There’s also a probability that hyphaemia can develop from the spreading of abnormal vessels in the area and subsequent leaking which is commonly observed in the case of diabetic eye conditions and other diseases.


● eye pain

● cloudiness in eye

● blood visible in front of the pupil, iris or both

● blocked or blurry vision

● sensitivity to light

3. Other eye haemorrhages – When eye bleeding occurs at the back or deep inside the eye, it is usually not visible. At times it can cause eye redness. Broken and damaged blood vessels and other issues can cause lead to bleeding inside the eye. Types of deeper eye haemorrhages include:

● subretinal haemorrhage (anywhere below the retina)

● vitreous haemorrhage (in the liquid of the eye)

● sub-macular haemorrhage (under the macula)


● blurred vision

● seeing floaters

● vision has a reddish tint

● seeing flashes of light

● eye swelling

● a feeling of pressure or fullness inside the eye

Treatments for eye bleeding:

Dr Sheetal Mahuvakar pointed out that the treatment usually depends on the cause of eye bleeding. Subconjunctival haemorrhage mostly doesn’t require any treatment and heals on its own. Hyphaemia along with deeper eye haemorrhages may include treatments like:

● laser surgery to reduce the eye pressure

● eye drops to treat pain, inflammation and pressure

● eye surgery in extreme conditions

She said, “The eye drop recommended by the ophthalmologist will depend on the bleeding’s cause. Some examples are antiviral, antibiotic and steroid eye drops. Eye bleeding is a common occurrence and can happen to anyone. However, it is always a good idea to consult an ophthalmologist to get the best advice, after all, it’s about vision.”

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