A subconjunctival haemorrhage is similar to an ordinary bruise on the skin — it’s like a bruise of the eye.

It usually appears as a single, concentrated spot of red, or many scattered red splotches, on the white of the eye. The redness is blood under the conjunctiva, a clear membrane that covers the white of the eye (called the sclera) and the inner eyelids.

The conjunctiva contains numerous blood vessels and capillaries, the tiniest blood vessels in the body. These vessels can break, causing blood to leak between the conjunctiva and the sclera. This minor bleeding under the eye’s outer membrane is what causes the bright red spot to appear on the white of the eye.

Seeing a subconjunctival hemorrhage on your eye can be alarming. Yet it is actually a common occurrence, almost always harmless, minor, and will heal on its own. It does not affect vision and generally does not cause pain. There are usually no sensations or symptoms, other than the appearance of the red spot. In fact, a person may not even be aware that he or she has a subconjunctival hemorrhage until someone points it out, or the person looks in the mirror.

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