Sometimes red spots or fine lines appears on the white part of the eye, knows as the sclera. These spots are in fact broken blood vessels, which may sound frightening but in most cases it is nothing to panic about. In medical terminology this condition is called subconjunctival hemorrhage.
The clear tissue that coats the white part of the eye or the sclera is called conjunctiva. It also extends to line the inner part of the eyelids. When a blood vessel in the eye ruptures, the blood that leaks gets trapped between the conjunctiva and the sclera, because the conjunctiva is not able to absorb it. Trapped blood is visible and appears in form of red spots or fine lines.
Generally speaking, this condition is not considered a medical emergency and, although there may be some mild pain involved, is more of a cosmetic issue. The red patches in the eye usually go away in two weeks.
There are many factors that may cause the rupture of a blood vessel in the eye. Many will be surprised to learn that a strong sneeze or cough may cause a blood vessel to pop.
Heavy lifting causes pressure to the veins in the head, which may lead to the rupture of a blood vessel in the eye.
A trauma or injury to the eye will most probably cause a blood vessel to break. People who wear contact lenses should be careful and not to rub their eyes with their lenses on, because they may scrape the tender surface of the eye and cause rupture of blood vessels.
Sometimes a very high intake of garlic, ginseng, ginger, cayenne and blood thinners may cause this condition.
People who have diabetes and high blood pressure are considered to be particularly prone to having this problem.
If red spots appear frequently in the eye, they should be examined by a doctor because there might be another underlying condition that is causing it. In many cases that cause turns out to be high blood pressure so keeping the pressure at normal levels should prevent further rupture of blood vessels of the eye.
If the ruptured blood vessels are accompanied by pain, they should not be ignored and it is recommended to see an ophthalmologist. Until the symptoms of this condition are cleared, persons who suffer from it should avoid warfarin and Aspirin. Eyes should not be rubbed or scratched.
It is believed that a diet rich in vitamin C and grapes helps reduce symptoms of this condition. A healthy diet and avoiding eye strain are necessary for recovery.