**This page contains a photo of a bloodshot eye that may be disturbing to some readers. Viewer discretion is advised.**
What is a bloodshot eye?1
A bloodshot eye, also known as a subconjunctival hemorrhage, is a condition in which there is bleeding in the white part of the eye. This can appear as a small red spot or a larger, bright red area. It occurs when the tiny blood vessels inside the eye break and leak blood into the space between the clear layer (conjunctiva) that covers the white part of the eye (sclera). This results in the red appearance that can be seen on the surface of the eye.
Although it may look alarming, a bloodshot eye is usually harmless and will heal on its own without any treatment. The only symptom is a red spot in the eye, and sometimes there may be mild irritation.
What causes a bloodshot eye? 1
Several factors can cause a bloodshot eye, including forcefully coughing, sneezing, or straining, as well as rubbing the eye too roughly. Eye surgery, intravitreal eye injections, trauma or injury to the eye, high blood pressure, diabetes, or medications that make you bleed more easily are also risk factors. A study in 2015 indicated people with hypertension or people who had fewer previous injections are more likely to develop the condition after having an eye injection.3
How to manage a bloodshot eye? 1
A bloodshot eye usually clears up on its own and does not require treatment. However, the following tips can help manage the condition:
- Artificial tears can be used to relieve any itching or irritation.
- Warm compresses may help speed up the healing process.
- Avoid rubbing the eye if it is itchy.
The visible blood will be reabsorbed over time, and it may take between five to ten days for this to happen. A large subconjunctival hemorrhage may take up to two or three weeks to fade, and during this time, the redness may change to orange and then pink before the eye returns to its normal white color. It will fade in a similar way to a bruise on the skin.
Wang, Dan-Dan & Xu, Pei-Ying & Wang, Tian-Yu & Chen, Xiao-Xia & Peng, Qing. (2015). Observation on health quality of life before and after the injection of antiangiogenic drug in vitreous cavity to patients with wet age-related macular degeneration. Chinese Nursing Research. 379. 10.1016/j.cnre.2015.07.001.
 Yun, Cheolmin et al. “Subconjunctival hemorrhage after intravitreal injection of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor.” Graefe's archive for clinical and experimental ophthalmology = Albrecht von Graefes Archiv fur klinische und experimentelle Ophthalmologie vol. 253,9 (2015): 1465-70. doi:10.1007/s00417-014-2837-6