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Broken Blood Vessel
|Q. Is there anything you can do for a
broken blood vessel in the eye?
If the broken blood vessel causes
blood to accumulate in the front of the eye, between the cornea and
pupil/iris, this condition is called a hyphema and warrants immediate
medical attention. If the broken blood vessel is inside the eye, for
example related to diabetes (diabetic retinopathy) or to another retinal
condition such as age-related macular degeneration, treatment may be
available and immediate medical attention is
needed, so see your eye doctor ASAP.
causes red eye?
Red eye is caused when the blood
vessels of the eye swell with more blood than usual. Red eye may be
- Infection, including AIDS
- Allergic or chemical
- More serious disease
- Need for glasses
A person with red eye should see
an Eye Doctor if:
- There is pain
- See floaters
- Loss of vision
- Caused by injury
- There is discharge from the
- Swelling or redness of the
- Cloudy cornea
- Unequal pupil size
- Presence of bright red blood
in the eye, between the cornea and iris
|Q. What is CRVO and
what can be done about it?
CRVO stands for Central
Retinal Vein Occlusion. CRVO as well as occlusion
of one or more of the central vein branches causes various degrees of
vision loss depending on the extent and locus of the occlusion.
Upstream from the occlusion venous dilation and mild hemorrhages may be
observed by the eye doctor. There also may be swelling and so-called
"cotton-wool" spots in the back of the eye (retina). A percentage of
patients will also develop neovascularization (i.e., growth of abnormal
blood vessels) of the iris and, as a result, develop glaucoma. Most
patients with CRVO are elderly and their eye problems are associated
with arteriosclerosis. Recovery of vision is dependent on the extent
and location of retinal hemorrhages. If glaucoma develops, the eye may
have to be enucleated (removed).
Although there is no effective cure for CRVO, depending on
conditions the eye doctor may use steroids to control edema (swelling)
of the central retina (macula). Anticoagulants have also been employed
to reduce/prevent the chance of iris neovascularization and associated
glaucoma. However, it appears that the use of anticoagulants are no
longer considered effective for treatment/prevention. Finally,
photocoagulation (i.e., laser surgery) may be used to treat the abnormal
blood vessel growth in the retina and to prevent retinal edema and
subsequent loss of central vision. The eye doctor may also run certain
blood, urine and stool tests tests while the patient is taking
anticoagulants. Because of the dangers and seriousness of CRVO, the
patient must been seen regularly by the eye doctor and must keep all of
his or her appointments.
|Q. Blood in eye.
Blood in the front part of the eye between the cornea and the
pupil/iris is called a hyphema and warrants immediate medical
attention. A hyphema can lead to the sudden onset of glaucoma and
permanent loss of vision in the eye.
Q. I have red veins surrounded by yellow
in the whites of my eyes from the iris to the inner edge. I have
Grave's disease and Fibromyalgia. These
veins have been there for two years now. Some days they get real bad
and my vision gets fussy for a few hours. I am amblyopic and my good
eye is worse than my lazy eye. What causes this?
We assume that you're being regularly seen by your eye doctor,
if not you should be. Patients with Grave's disease show varying
degrees of exophthalmos or protruding eyes. Because the eyes protrude
outward there is increased surface area of the eye exposed to air and,
as a consequence, the eyes tend to dry-out as in dry eye disease. A
sign of dry eye disease is red appearing eyes. The redness is cause by
irritation resulting in the blood vessels being gorged with blood and
then become more noticeable. If your vision is temporarily being
affected as you indicate, this may be due to the excessive drying of the
cornea but may also be related to the pressure placed on the eyes by the
Grave's disease. See your eye doctor about these problems, particularly
about the periods fuzzy vision.
causes small red spots on the white part
of the eye?
Bright red spot(s) on the white part of the eye are probably
subconjunctival hemorrhage(s). These are caused by a number of things
including injury or may develop spontaneously in older adults. You
should see an Ophthalmologist for a diagnosis and treatment if
|Q. Hi, I have
this problem where my eyes are
constantly bloodshot. I donít have particularly dry eyes.
They are the worst when I wake up and before I go to bed. I use over the
counter eye drops which only mildly help for a few hours. What could be
causing this? I have had this problem for quite sometime. There is
nothing foreign (i.e. not conjuctivitus) in my eyes and it is equally
bad in both eyes. Please help!
Very few dry eye disorders cause a
daily variation that you describe that is also associated with bloodshot
eyes, except meibomitis and meibomian gland dysfunction. Patients with
meibomitis often complain of burning, bloodshot eyes in the morning.
This is because there is decreased tear secretion at night and
inflammatory processes serve to create eye irritation
on awaking. As the disease progresses, there is increased tear
evaporation during the day which causes the symptoms to again appear in
the evening hours. Thus the morning and evening problems with the
eyes. And, as in your case, lubricating eye drops only provide
temporary relief. Because you've had this problem for some time, there
may be continuing damage to the meibomian gland. See an eye doctor,
preferably one that specializes in dry eye disorders for evaluation and
treatment, if applicable.
A Note on Diabetic Eye Disease
Diabetes is a serious disease and
patients with diabetes MUST see an eye doctor on a regular basis (e.g., every 6
months) or based on your eye doctor's recommendations. In diabetes, abnormal, small fragile blood vessels inside the eye
can form and eventually leak and break - causing an immediate loss of vision in
the affected eye. Treatment can be instituted BEFORE the abnormal blood
vessels leak or break, but it is absolutely important to see an eye doctor
BEFORE the leak or breaking occurs. Once the blood
vessels leak and break, it may be too late to save vision in the affected eye.
If you have diabetes, DO NOT TAKE A CHANCE - see an eye doctor on a regular basis.
If you fail to follow this advice, only you have to blame for your eventual
blindness. The choice is yours - an eye exam or a pilot dog.
W. R. Bryan Diabetic Eye Disease Research Fund
2008 OLERF Annual Report (PDF file)
2009 OLERF Annual
Report (PDF file)
2010 OLERF Annual
Report (PDF file)
2011 OLERF Annual Rport