Eye Matters
December 3, 2013
Bleeding in the eyes

Good day readers!

I was chatting with Dr Hadley the other day and she could not help but notice that we are seeing a higher incidence of bleeding in the eyes than normal. I agreed with her. Today, we would like to revisit the topic of eye bleeds.{{more}}

Bleeding in the eye or hemorrhages are caused by bleeding from damaged or broken blood vessels. These hemorrhages can be found under the eyelids (black eye), on the white part of the eye (sub conjunctival hemorrhage), inside the eyeball itself (hyphema, vitreous hemorrhages, choroidal hemorrhages) or behind the eye.

There are many causes of bleeding in the eye, depending on the affected part of the eye. Trauma is the number one cause of eye bleeds. This can result from a blow to the eye.

Diseases, such as diabetes mellitus, can cause internal bleeding, due to the proliferation of new blood vessels that are weak. These vessels tend to bleed. Medication such as the use of steroids, can increase the risk of bleeding. Also, hormonal changes can increase the risk of bleeding.

Extrme coughing and sneezing have also been known to cause hemorrhages in the eyes. Also, when one has to press too hard in the toilet, as in the case of severe constipation, the abdominal pressure can rise above the intracapillary pressure and burst the small blood vessels in the eye. Vomiting and pushing at childbirth can also cause the same problerm.

Bending a lot and lifting very heavy objects have been known to cause hemorrhages. Some people are born with certain blood factors missing and therefore their do not have the ability to clot (hemophiliacs). Also, patients suffering from severe sickle cell disease are at risk of eye bleeds.

Treatment usually starts with treating the underlying condition. In the case of external bleeds, cold compresses may suffice; however, if the condition arises from a blunt injury, further investigation may be required to see if any other structures within the eye are affected. Internal bleeds are usually of a more serious nature and should be treated as such. Your doctor may prescribe anti- inflammatory drops. It is very important to take all bleeding in the eyes seriously. Contact your doctor, especially if you are experiencing pain or a visual disturbance.

Have a great week.

Dr Kenneth Onu is a resident Consultant Ophthalmologist at the Beachmont Eye Institute/Eyes R Us Send questions to: [email protected]

Tel: 784 456-1210