Ocular Effusion: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment and Prevention

It is a rupture of the conjunctival blood vessels or capillaries and is characterized by the appearance of blood under the eye conjunctiva.

The blood does not cross the part of the corneal limbus, but it lodges in the anterior zone of the eye; it stays between the bulbar conjunctiva and the sclera.

The conjunctiva is the eyeball, the outermost protective layer. This is a moist, thin, and transparent membrane that covers the inside of the eyelids and the eye’s sclera.

In the conjunctiva, they are found in many tiny blood vessels and nerves. These small blood vessels behave fragile, and the walls tend to break very quickly. This causes the internal bleeding of the conjunctiva called an ocular or subconjunctival effusion.

This condition manifests as a red spot. If the breaking of blood vessels causes ocular outflow, this is a harmless condition that tends to disappear within one to two weeks.

Subconjunctival bleeding can result from a great effort that causes the rupture of the blood vessels in the conjunctiva.

Causes of ocular effusion

The subconjunctival or ocular hemorrhages are primarily spontaneous and do not have a specific cause for the injury of the conjunctival blood vessels.


However, some preconditions can cause the appearance of a spontaneous subconjunctival hemorrhage, and these may be the following:

  • Strong or excessive sneezing.
  • Cough that requires significant effort.
  • Injury to the eye by rubbing it hard.
  • Effort when he vomits.
  • Lifting of heavy objects.
  • Action during evacuation due to constipation.
  • Injuries or traumas.
  • High blood pressure
  • Drug treatments can cause bleeding or inhibit normal blood coagulation (aspirin and warfarin).
  • Vitamin C deficiency
  • Surgery.
  • Visual fatigue
  • Bleeding disorders.
  • Infections associated with fever, such as influenza and malaria.
  • Certain diseases include diabetes and systemic lupus erythematosus.
  • Parasites

Non-spontaneous bleeding can occur due to a severe infection, trauma, or injury to the head and sometimes after eye or eyelid surgery.

Symptoms of ocular effusion

A subconjunctival hemorrhage usually does not present more complications than aesthetic hemorrhages, but sometimes some symptomatology can be experienced.

There may be redness in the eye; this can be a dangerous symptom due to other severe eye conditions, so a differential diagnosis should be made, and treatment should be prescribed.


There are no special tests or diagnostic procedures to detect the condition of subconjunctival hemorrhage. Your ophthalmologist will usually know about the situation by physically examining the eye.

The patient may also ask about their general health and symptoms, take blood pressure, perform an eye exam and have a routine blood test.

The latter is to make sure you do not suffer from any potentially severe bleeding disorder. When an eye spill occurs, only a routine examination by an ophthalmologist is enough.

The eye’s blood pressure will be checked and checked. In some cases, laboratory tests are likely to be performed to detect any bleeding disorder.

This type of exam is done when the eye spill has been very frequent or if you have presented other bruises or hemorrhages.

Treatment of ocular effusion

In most cases, subconjunctival hemorrhage does not represent a serious condition and may not require any treatment.

Ocular effusion can cause mild discomfort, such as the sensation of the presence of a foreign body in the eye, which can be controlled with artificial tears, to clean and sanitize the outer surface of the eyes.

The dose of artificial tears is the application of a few drops 4 to 6 times a day.

It must be taken into account that in the event of the appearance of an abnormal or suspicious symptom, it is necessary to go to the specialist to rule out any other anomaly of greater risk.


Generally, there is no way to prevent an eye spill since, in most cases, there are no apparent causes.

However, you should be extremely cautious if you know that you have a cause that causes these hemorrhages.

For example, the use of anticoagulants or the knowledge that he suffers from a bleeding disorder that could cause an eye spill.