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.
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!