I am a 62-year-old female, and am taking medication for raised blood pressure. Otherwise I am in very good health. My question is in regard to burst blood vessels occurring in my right eye. Can I alleviate this disfiguring appearance and is there a possible cause of the condition?


This sounds like a case of subconjunctival haemorrhage, which means bleeding under the conjunctiva. The conjunctiva is a thin transparent membrane that covers the sclera or white part of the eye. This membrane has a very rich blood supply and the subconjunctival haemorrhage occurs when one of these tiny blood vessels leaks. The blood gathers in the space between the sclera and conjunctiva giving rise to the disfiguring appearance of a blood red eye. The haemorrhage does not represent any threat to sight and the condition is not as serious as it may look. Sometimes these haemorrhages occur following a fit of coughing or from rubbing the eye too vigorously. Subconjunctival haemorrhages can also occur as a result of high blood pressure so it would be important for you to have your blood pressure re-checked in order to be sure that it is adequately controlled. There is no treatment available to eliminate the disfiguring appearance from the haemorrhage. Drops and ointments are of no benefit but fortunately the blood usually disappears completely within 10 to 14 days.