I have had three blood vessels burst in my eyes over the last two months. I supposed that stress was responsible for the first two, but I did not consider myself under any duress at the time of the third. What causes this, and what can I do to speed healing?

The burst blood vessels you’re describing are subconjunctival hemorrhages. They occur among the many small and fragile blood vessels in the conjunctiva, the clear membrane that covers the whites of the eyes and lubricates and protects the eyeball.

When one of these tiny blood vessels bursts, you will notice a bright red or dark spot on the white of an eye. This can result from any number of trivial occurrences—sneezing, coughing, straining, crying, vomiting, rubbing your eyes, contact lens use (in younger patients), or trauma (such as a foreign object injuring your eye), but most of the time no obvious cause can be identified. There are rarely any other symptoms, although sometimes you may feel some pain or mild irritation.

You may be at greater than normal risk of these little hemorrhages if you’re taking medications or supplements that thin the blood, including warfarin (Coumadin), aspirin, Plavix, or high doses of vitamin E or fish oil. Sometimes, the burst blood vessels are associated with high blood pressure, diabetes, or with conjunctivitis (inflammation of the membrane due to infection or allergy).

Posted in

Iron Will

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.