You have been given this information about a condition called subconjunctival haemorrhage.

What is a subconjunctival haemorrhage?

The conjunctiva is a transparent covering over the white part of your eye. The conjunctiva has many blood vessels and sometimes one of these can bleed causing a collection of blood under its surface. This small bleed can look alarming; however, the condition on its own is not serious.

What might cause a subconjunctival haemorrhage?

Often we do not know what has caused the small bleed to

happen but it can be linked to one of the following:

  • Rubbing your eye
  • Coughing or vomiting
  • High blood pressure
  • Injury to your eye
  • Eye surgery
  • Taking medication which make you more likely to bruise, such as warfarin or aspirin
  • Blood disorders


Usually the first time people realise they have a subconjunctival haemorrhage is when they see it in the mirror. It is very rarely painful but may make the eye feel a bit gritty. The condition does not usually require treatment and the colour will gradually fade over 2 weeks.

If you have been found to have raised blood pressure or you take medication which affects your blood clotting, you will need to see your GP for further monitoring.

You should seek medical advice if:

  • you have had a significant injury to your eye
  • it is painful
  • you cannot see the edge of the red area
  • your vision is affected
  • you have experienced other unusual/unexplained bleeding or bruising

Printable version of this page

Subconjunctival haemorrhage GHPI0195_11_21 Department: Trauma and Orthopaedics Review due: November 2024 PDF, 410.1 KB, 2 pages
Reference number GHPI0195_11_21
Department Trauma and Orthopaedics
Review due November 2024