You rely on your eyes to see and interact with the world around you. So it’s natural to be worried if you look in the mirror and notice a burst blood vessel in your eye. Medically known as a subconjunctival hemorrhage, it may sound and look much more threatening than it is.
That’s why in this post, we’ll be exploring how you can have a blood vessel burst in your eye and whether it’s necessary to do anything to treat it.
Burst Blood Vessel In Eye? Help!
The human eye is a fascinating organ that has three layers. The outermost layer contains the cornea, the transparent front part, and the sclera, which composes the opaque “white” of the eye. The middle layer contains the iris, which controls the amount of light that enters the eye. The innermost layer is the optic nerve, or retina, which sends electrical signals about visual information to the brain.
The space between each layer contains a “humour.” Between the cornea and lens lies the aqueous humour, a watery fluid that performs many important functions, such as maintaining pressure inside the eyeball to help it keep its shape and providing nutrition to the inner tissues of the eye. Inside the eye is vitreous humour, which is a sticky, jelly-like substance.
So if you’re looking at a reddened, bloody eye, where is the blood coming from?
Breaking It Down: Subconjunctival Hemorrhage
The medical term for a burst blood vessel in the eye may seem pretty serious, but it’s simple once you break it down.
A hemorrhage refers to blood escaping damaged blood vessels. Subconjunctival refers to the conjunctiva, a layer of tissue rich with blood vessels just on top of the sclera. Its function is to lubricate the eye and prevent foreign debris and microbes from getting in.
But because this layer is so rich with tiny blood vessels, it’s very easy for these to burst under stress. So, remember that the fluid inside the eye maintains its shape, but the pressure of that fluid increases during strenuous physical exertion.
These stressors can include heavy lifting or straining, coughing or sneezing, vomiting, or childbirth. You might also have a blood vessel burst in your eye if you’ve just had LASIK, have high blood pressure, take blood thinners, or have suffered a physical injury to the head or neck.
What Should I Do If I Have A Burst Blood Vessel In My Eye?
Fortunately, the condition is not painful, does not result in vision loss, and does not require treatment unless there is significant eye trauma. The conjunctiva can absorb the blood back into the eye. The blood vessels that burst can heal. Therefore, after about two or three weeks, the dark color lightens. Then, it may turn to a faint yellow as more of it is absorbed back into the eye. Finally, the eye returns to normal.
If you feel uncomfortable and your eye is dry or itchy, you can use artificial tears. This will help keep the eye lubricated while it heals.
We hope this post has given you some reassurance that a burst blood vessel in your eye is nothing to worry about. However, if you’re experiencing regular subconjunctival hemorrhages, it’s always best to seek the help of a qualified health professional.
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