Subconjunctival Hemorrhage in Children: Care Instructions

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Your Care Instructions

Picture of the parts of the eye

Sometimes small blood vessels in the white of the eye can break, causing a red spot or speck. This is called a subconjunctival hemorrhage. The blood vessels may break when your child sneezes, coughs, vomits, strains, or bends over. Sometimes there is no clear cause.

The blood may look alarming, especially if the spot is large. If your child has no pain or vision change, there is usually no reason to worry, and the blood slowly will go away on its own in 2 to 3 weeks.

Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.

How can you care for your child at home?

  • Watch for changes in your child's eye. It is normal for the red spot on the eyeball to change colour as it heals. Just like a bruise on the skin, it may change from red to brown to purple to yellow.

When should you call for help?

Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You see blood over the black part of your child's eye (pupil).
  • Your child has any changes in or problems with vision.
  • Your child has any pain in the eye.
  • Your child has any discharge from the eye.

Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:

  • Your child's eye colour is not steadily returning to normal.
  • The blood has not gone away after 2 to 3 weeks.
  • Your child develops bruising or bleeding elsewhere, such as the gums or the skin, or your child has nosebleeds.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

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Current as of: May 23, 2016