Do you have red spots or patches in your eyes? What might be the cause of such spots? Red spots or dots in the eye could be harmless but you have to consult your doctor to rule out whether or not the spots results from a serious underlying condition. In this post, we have insights on the causes of red spots in eyes after vomiting, during pregnancy and after Lasik procedure. We have also included Treatments and Home remedies you can use to get rid of this eye condition.
Red Spots in Eyes
You may be busy doing your daily grooming in front of a mirror and realize a red spot on your eye in the reflection. It is normal to have a concern especially when the spot appears without reason. You may start wondering whether you have a bleeding inside the eye or not.
The greater part of your eye is white in color and it provides a good background for the view of a red spot that may appear on it. Whether you know or don’t know the cause of red spot in your eye, it is important to visit your doctor right away.
The size and shape of the spot may vary depending on the cause. Some may be small, tiny or little while others can be a large patch that covers a big area of the eye. They can also be circular dots or irregular patches. The spots may be characterized by other symptoms depending on the causes.
Red Spots in Eyes Causes
Red spots can appear on a single or both eyes. There are various causes that can result in this eye condition. Some of them include the following:
1. Subconjunctival Hemorrhage
Subconjunctival hemorrhage simply means a broken blood vessel that is located underneath the eye conjunctiva [white part of the eye]. This condition is harmless and does not cause any discomfort or vision problem. It is only characterized by a bright red patch that appears on the white of the eye and a slight scratchy feeling on the surface on your eye.
The white part of your eye [sclera] and inside eyelids are covered with a thin, moist, and transparent membrane that is known as conjunctiva. Its primary function is to protect the eyeball. It contains nerves and numerous blood vessels that supply oxygen and nutrients.
The blood vessels are normally visible but they can get enlarged when the eye is inflamed. The blood vessels in the conjunctiva are fragile due to their thin walls and can easily break to cause bleeding under the conjunctiva and hence causing subconjunctival hemorrhage.
In most cases, the blood vessel in your conjunctiva normally breaks at night and realize the red spot in the morning when looking in the mirror. It can be scary especially when the blood spreads to the entire white part of your eye.
Subconjunctival hemorrhage Causes
- Eye injury or trauma can cause blood vessels underneath conjunctiva to break
- Eye surgery like Lasik or cataract surgery that interferes with blood vessels.
- A sudden increase in blood pressure from vomiting, lifting heavy weight, coughing, sneezing, laughing, and constipation.
- Taking certain medicines like aspirin that causes blood thinning.
- Rubbing your eyes roughly can result to red spots in eyes due to capillary breakage.
- Straining too hard when doing something.
The other risk factors that can cause Subconjunctival hemorrhage includes Diabetes, high blood pressure and blood clotting disorders.
Diagnosis and Treatment
This condition can be diagnosed by an eye doctor by conducting physical eye examinations, asking questions, checking your blood pressure, and doing some blood tests. You may be prescribed eye drops like artificial tears to alleviate any scratchy feeling on the surface of your eye. The affected eye should be able to clear within a period of 1 to 2 weeks.
2. Sickle cell disease
This is an inherited blood disorder that causes deformation of blood cells to abnormal shapes that make them difficult to transports oxygen and hemoglobin to different parts of the body. This condition causes different eye problems like red spots in eyes or lines on the white part of the eye, itchy eyes, tired eyes, seeing floaters and eye twitching.
This condition is also characterized by pain, delayed growth, the risk of infections, stroke, and anemia. Pain from sickle cell anemia treated or alleviated by taking pain killers and intravenous fluid injections. Using anti-cancer drugs can also help to reduce the pain. Regular medical care is necessary when suffering from this condition.
This is a condition that causes acute inflammation of the episclera. Episclera is a bridge of thin tissues between conjunctiva to the white sclera. It also contains many blood vessels that can break to cause red spots on the eyeball. In most cases, the underlying body infections can cause some of the blood vessels to burst.
This is thickening of the outer cover of your eye. It normally appears as a raised yellow coating on the surface of your eye. When spending most of the time outdoors on a sunny and windy day, this cover can become irritated and inflamed to cause a condition known as Pingueculitis.
Pingueculitis is characterized by red spots in eyes that appear to be swollen. Pinguecula normally develops on your eyes gradually due to ultraviolet rays from the sun and from other severe irritations to the eye.
5. Cancerous and non-cancerous growth
Both benign and cancerous growth can appear on the surface of your eye as red spots. It is important to visit your doctor right away when having any kind of growth in your eyes. The doctor may be able to diagnose your condition early and provide the appropriate treatment.
Red Spots in Eyes after Lasik
Lasik surgery is a procedure that is done to improve the quality of vision or to have a clearer vision. It is extremely a safe procedure but may come with some side effects that include a red spot or patch in the white of the eye.
It is normal to have a red patch or spots on the white of your eye for several days during Lasik eye surgery recovery. This blood-red splotchy type of redness is known as Subconjunctival hemorrhage, it normally develops during the flap creation process of Lasik surgery.
To minimize the breakage of blood vessels under the eye, the surgeon normally applies a combination of special eye drops in the eye before performing the surgery. The chances of developing the red spots on your eye decrease to less than 5% in this case.
However, there is no reason to worry if the red patches develop since they will disappear on their own without treatment after 1 to 2 weeks. However, there are a number measures you can take to minimize Subconjunctival hemorrhage. They include the following:
- Using Prescription eye drops
Eye dryness is the other symptoms you may experience during Lasik eye surgery recovery. Ocular dryness contributes to the occurrence of some common types of red eye. Using artificial tears can help to alleviate scratchy feeling in the eye that is brought about by dryness. The doctor may also give you prescribed eye drops to prevent inflammations and infections.
- Wearing eye shields during the night
It is important to be careful during the healing period of Lasik eye surgery. Wearing a clear plastic shield at night may help to prevent you from rubbing the eyes. You should put on the eye shield every night for the first one week to give your eyes an ample time of healing.
- Avoid swimming or using a hot tub some days
According to Dr. Mozayeni, it is recommended to wait for two weeks before swimming or using a hot tub. Chlorinated water may cause irritation to your eyes and cause an urge to rub them. This can increase the chances of developing the red spots.
Red Spots in Eyesight
David who is 79 years of age and in good health began experiencing the red dots along with a decline in visual acuity from 20/30 to 20/50 vision. He is seeing the small red dots over the entire visual field, using one eye or both eyes. The dots appear quite small on near surfaces, but larger on more distant ones. He sees them all the time.
His ophthalmologist examined her eyes and found no structural problems with the retina or other parts of the eye. He didn’t know what caused the red dots but speculated that it might be a problem in the occipital lobe or in the optic nerve.
According to Dr. Stevens, most often when one eye sees the dots, it is an issue in the eye. As in David’s case, he suspects something is happening in the area of the occipital cortex or something near the pituitary causing optic nerve pressure. He thinks that a CT or MRI can evaluate those regions to come up with a solution.
Red Spots in Eyes after Vomiting
The white part of your eye can turn to bright red bloodshot after vomiting. This condition is known as Subconjunctival hemorrhage and it is harmless and does not have any effect on your vision. This condition may stay for a couple of weeks but it normally resolves on its own without any treatment.
This condition is caused by increased pressure in the abdominal cavity that eventually spreads into blood vessels. Increased pressure in blood vessels normally causes the tiny blood vessels in your body to burst but you are only likely to notice those that appears in your eyes since they have a white background.
Apart from vomiting, Subconjunctival hemorrhage can occur while sneezing, coughing, lifting heavy weights, constipation, rubbing into eyes and trauma to the eyes.
Red Spots in Eyes during Pregnancy
Pregnancy may come with various challenges including eye problems but you don’t have to worry since of these issues normally resolve on their own after delivery. In most cases, red spots in your eyes during pregnancy results from dryness.
Hormonal changes during pregnancy normally cause the body to produce fewer tears. Therefore, the eyes are left feeling irritated, scratchy and gritty. The scratchy feeling may cause an urge to rub into your eye. However, it is important to resist the urge because rubbing your eyes can break a blood vessel in your eye to cause a red spot.
According to Alan Shabo, M.D., clinical professor of ophthalmology at the UCLA School of Medicine, you should be careful when buying over the counter eye drops to get rid of red eyes. Some of them normally constrict blood vessels and increase eye irritation. Consider buying a non-vasoconstrictive one.
However, you can minimize scratchy feeling and irritation by taking a frequent break when using a computer for long hours or when sitting under fluorescence lights. Also, avoid excessive use of radiators and air conditioners as they may result to dry eyes.
Red Spots in baby’s Eyes
According to community.babycenter.com, a mother was seeking help about a red spot in her baby’s eye and she said ‘’ I just notice that my baby has a red spot on her left eye, it is not extended to the iris but just right below it. It breaks my heart that I don’t know how she got it or when she got it. It’s like out of know where it appeared!
I remember my mom and sister both have had blood vessels popped in their eyes before and it never bothered them and the doctor told them it would go away on its own and they did, but is this common on babies too?! Has any of your baby’s had this happen to them? ’’
According to doctor’s answers, if the spot is isolated and does not cause other symptoms like inflammation or other discomforts, then the cause is likely to be a broken blood vessel in the eye. Subconjunctival hemorrhage in children is harmless and does not cause any visual problem.
Best Home Remedies to Get Rid of Red Spots in Eyes
Broken blood vessel in your eye can cause slight irritation or scratchy feeling on the surface of the eye. However, it is advisable to resist the urge to scratch since it can worsen the condition. There are various natural remedies you can use to alleviate the symptoms as you wait your eye to recover. Some of them include the following:
- Cold compress
Applying a cold compress of the affected eye is the easiest remedy to get rid of the bloodshot eye due to Subconjunctival hemorrhage. It reduces the flow of blood by constricting the affected blood vessel. It also aids in fastening the healing process of damaged blood vessels in your eye. To use this remedy:
- Wrap several ice cubes in a clean towel.
- Place it on the surface of the affected eye.
- Allow it to sit for 5 to 10 minutes
- Repeat the treatment several times a day
N/B. Do not place the ice cubes directly on the eye without wrapping in a towel as it can cause a frost burn.
Cucumber has both cooling and soothing properties that help to treat broken blood vessel as well as alleviating any discomfort that is associated with it. To use this treatment:
- Start by placing a cucumber in a freezer for about an hour.
- Remove it from the freezer and cut it into slices.
- Place the slices on the affected eye or on both eyes.
- Allow it to stay in the affected eye or eyes for 15 minutes before removing it.
- Repeat the treatment 3 times a day for faster healing.
- Jasmine flower to get rid of red spots in eyes
This is also among the effective home remedy for Subconjunctival hemorrhage. Its soothing effect helps to relieve the discomforts accompanied by broken blood vessels in your eye. It also fastens the healing process. To use this remedy:
- Pluck 10 jasmine flowers and soak them in a glass of distilled water.
- Allow them to soak for 12 hours before straining the water.
- Use a dropper to suck some of the water and put 3 drops in the affected eye.
- Repeat the treatment 2 to 3 times a day until when the eye recovers fully.
- Tea bags
The tea bag is effective on how to heal broken blood vessel in eye fast. It contains anti-oxidants and can also provide a cooling effect when placed in a freezer for some time. To use this natural treatment:
- Take two tea bags and soak them in water for 10 minutes.
- Keep them in a freezer for an hour.
- Remove the tea bags from the freezer and place them on the affected eyes.
- Allow them to stay on your eyes for 15 minutes before discarding them
- Repeat the treatment twice a day
- Bilberry Fruit to get rid of red spots in eyes
Bilberry is among the great sources of anthocyanosides. It helps in keeping the capillary wall strengthened and hence preventing further damage. Apart from strengthening the blood vessels in the eyes, it is also an effective remedy for treating dark circles under or around the eyes. To use this treatment:
- Extract some bilberry fruits to make a juice
- Drink the juice 2 to 3 times a day until recovery.
- Chilled Milk
Chilled milk has a soothing effect on broken blood vessels in eye and high blood pressure in the eye capillaries. It relieves symptoms like scratchy feeling that is accompanied by red spots in eyes. To use this treatment:
- Soak a cotton ball in chilled milk
- Strain the cotton balls and place it on the affected eyes.
- Allow it to stay on your eyes for 15 minutes before discarding it away.
- Repeat this treatment 3 times a day until recovery.
- Rose Water
Rose water has both anti-bacterial and soothing effects. It helps to kill bacteria that causes the underlying eye infection as well as soothing any discomfort. To prepare this treatment:
- Soak a cotton ball in Rose water.
- Strain and place them over closed eyelids
- Allow it to stay for 15 minutes before discarding it away.
- Chilled Spoon
When you don’t want to use ice cubes when providing a cold compress, you can alternatively use a chilled spoon. It helps to soothe the affected area by alleviating swelling as well as healing the damaged blood vessels in your eye. To use this treatment:
- Place a spoon in a freezer for an hour.
- Take the chilled spoon and press over the affected area while the eyelid is closed.
- Repeat the treatment 2 to 3 times a day
Red Spots in Eyes Cure
Treatment of Subconjunctival Hemorrhage may not be necessary as this condition normally heals on its own without a cure. However, you can use over-the-counter pain medications like Tylenol to relieve other discomforts that may accompany this eye condition.
Avoid taking pain killers like Aspirin that blood thinning effects. Talk to your doctor about other alternatives if you are taking aspirin or other anticoagulants for other medical conditions. Using this type of medication can worsen bloodshot in your eyes.
The doctor may prescribe eye drops that act as artificial tears to alleviate irritation and scratchy feeling on the surface of your eyes. You may be given other treatments in case of Subconjunctival Hemorrhage due to injuries to fasten the healing process. This condition should be able to clear within a period of 1 to 2 weeks.
Antibiotics can also be used to treat other underlying bacterial infections that may be causing red spots in your eyes. Remember to take the medicine as recommended by the doctor or manufacturers instruction. An overdose or under dose may not be effective to get rid of red spots in eyes.
Sources and References:
- Subconjunctival Hemorrhage: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/subconjunctival-hemorrhage/diagnosis-treatment/treatment/txc-20231466
- What is the red spot on my eye? https://www.verywell.com/what-is-the-red-spot-in-my-eye-3422027
- Eye Problems and Blood in the Eye: http://www.webmd.com/eye-health/eye-problems-and-blood-in-the-eye
- Causes of a red spot on eye: https://healdove.com/eye-care/Causes-of-a-Red-Spot-on-Eye
- Red Eye: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/red-eye/Pages/Introduction.aspx
- Eye redness: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003031.htm
- Home remedies for red eyes: https://www.homeremedyhacks.com/26-effective-home-remedies-to-get-rid-of-red-eyes/
- How to treat burst blood vessel in the eye: http://homehealthbeauty.in/health/how-to-treat-burst-blood-vessel-in-the-eye/
- Home remedies for Burst blood vessel in eye: http://besthomeremedies.net/home-remedies-burst-blood-vessel-eye/
- What is the red spot on my eye after Lasik: https://www.drholzman.com/blog/2013/04/20/what-is-the-red-spot-124804
- Red Spots on white of child’s eyes: https://www.aao.org/eye-health/ask-ophthalmologist-q/red-spots-on-eyes-of-child
- Eye problems during pregnancy: http://www.parenting.com/article/eye-problems-during-pregnancy