Me and My Bloodshot Eye

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Last Sunday afternoon, while my son and I were about to take a nap, my son noticed something peculiar in my left eye. He asked me to look up because he wasn’t too certain what it was. And then he said there’s a red spot in my left eye. I was alarmed but dismissed any negative thought and told my son that my eye just needed to rest, so we slept. When we woke up after an hour, I asked my son if the red spot he saw earlier in my left eye was still there, and he said yes. I also showed it my left eye to my husband, and he said it was so red. If you’ve been a regular reader of this blog, you would know that both my eyes were badly damaged after I had craniotomy in 2004 for the removal of my pituitary tumor. After the surgery, I was left with no peripheral vision in my left eye and only 10% vision in my right eye. Because my eyes are severely impaired, I have been trying my best for years to protect and preserve what’s left of my eyesight. So you could imagine the panic I felt when something strange suddenly appeared in my left eye. Out of fear, I did not dare look my eye in the mirror. My son actually served as my mirror the whole day as I kept asking him from time to time if he’s seeing any improvement. I texted three doctors – our EENT doctor, my cardiologist and my son’s pediatrician – to ask for medical advice, and all of them said that I should have my blood pressure checked. Two of them suggested that I see my eye doctor, too.

On our way to my ophthalmologist’s clinic the next day, I saw a familiar face in the hospital and showed her my red eye, and she said, “Oh, bloodshot eye.” That’s how I came up with the title for this blog post. But technically, I didn’t have a bloodshot eye. According to nativeremedies.com, a bloodshot eye or a red eye is a condition where the “small blood vessels on the surface of the eye (sclera) become enlarged and congested with blood.” My ophthalmologist said what I had was subconjunctival hemorrhage. Subconjunctival hemorrhage is bleeding under underneath the conjunctiva or white of the eye.

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Subconjunctival hemorrhage in my left eye on Day 2

According to allaboutvision.com, some causes of subconjunctival hemorrhage are as follows: (1) eye trauma; (2) a sudden increase in blood pressure due to heavy lifting, coughing, sneezing, laughing and constipation; (3) blood thinners (e.g., aspirin and warfarin); (4) a blood clotting disorder or vitamin K deficiency; (5) eye surgery.

Having learned these things, I think I already know the culprit for my subconjunctival hemorrhage. A few days before the blood blotch appeared in my left eye, I lifted several heavy objects at home to save them from getting wet from the water spilling out of our 5-gallon container that accidentally dropped to the floor. Therefore, I think, and my doctor agreed with me, that the probable cause of my subconjunctival hemorrhage was increase in blood pressure caused by heavy lifting. I will not do that again, promise! Also, because my doctor said I had nothing to worry about, I bravely inspected my eye in the mirror when we got home and asked my son to take a photo of my eye for this blog post.

My eye doctor did not give me any medications for my subconjunctival hemorrhage because he said it will disappear in a few days, and sure enough, on the 5th day, it was gone. What a relief!

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This blog was originally put up to document my son’s growing-up milestones, all for posterity’s sake. But there are other things to write about, aside from “mommyhood,” that merit my attention, and I’m including them all here. This blog now chronicles my life as a mom and a wife and everything else in between. For collabs, please email tgfiguerres@yahoo.com.

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