The eyes are the window through which we look at the outside world. We assume that it works optimally, so that we can see and experience everything clearly for the rest of our lives. Even though we rely on proper functioning, conditions can occur that impair vision. What does it mean if the white of the eye with lens turns red due to a vitreous hemorrhage and what if blood appears to be coming from the eyes?
Vitreous hemorrhage: bleeding in and around the eye
- Cause of problems
- Bleeding of the whites of the eyes
- Ruptured blood vessel in eye fluid: vitreous hemorrhage
- Blood leakage in tear duct: crying with blood
- Further advice for persistent bleeding
Cause of problems
An accident can happen anywhere and can mean that the eye, the eye socket and the interior of the eye come under too much pressure. The result is that a fracture or tear can occur in both the bone structure and the veins near the eye. This can cause blood leakage in the vitreous and on the whites of the eyes. In addition, there may be an infection that causes a hole in a vein in the tear duct. It may appear as if the person is crying blood. What are the causes and solutions for the various conditions?
Bleeding of the whites of the eyes
There are a large number of very small blood vessels in the outer layer of the eye, making it a very sensitive part of the face. If there is a sudden increase in pressure on the eye, such as an accident or a blow to the face, the veins can burst or tear. It means that blood flows into the outer layer of the eye, causing the whites of the eyes to appear blood red. The bleeding will be temporary, because the automatic clotting mechanism of the blood is activated. The blood stain will therefore not become larger. It takes some time before the condition goes away. The whites of the eyes will return to their original white color after two to three weeks.
Ruptured blood vessel in eye fluid: vitreous hemorrhage
Behind the black opening of the eye inside the iris is the lens of the eye. The eye is supplied with oxygen-rich blood through veins to ensure that the muscles function properly. Bleeding can occur both at the front and at the back of the vitreous space, with blood seeping into the eye fluid. This may be caused by the following reasons.
If the eye does not receive enough blood, new veins can grow between the retina and the vitreous. These veins are extremely fragile and can quickly cause blood leakage. Diabetes is the cause in almost half of the cases.
Vitreous surface detaches
A space develops between the retina and the vitreous (usually in the aging person), where veins can burst (one third of the cases).
Space is created between the hard part of the eye (sclera) and the retina, whereby veins can break (one-tenth of the cases). In addition, it may concern other less frequently occurring conditions.
The result is that the person looks blurred or cannot see well or no longer. Depending on the cause, surgical intervention may or may be necessary. The vitreous can be replaced by means of a vitrectomy (simultaneous suction and filling of vitreous) and the detached part can be surgically repaired if necessary (often the vision remains good except for the bleeding).
Blood leakage in tear duct: crying with blood
The tear duct is located in the corner of the eye near the nose and under normal circumstances ensures the drainage of eye fluid. The lacrimal gland is located above the eye and gradually adds moisture to the eye. This allows the eye to function and rotate optimally. That fluid, including absorbed dirt, is drained through the tear duct. Because this drain is a small, moist environment, there is a chance that an inflammation will occur. This can force a small fistula into a vein. It means that blood can flow freely, causing a continuous nosebleed. Blood can also be released from the corners of the eyes, making it appear as if one is crying blood. This uncommon condition is treated by cauterizing the vein in the tear duct. Anti-inflammatories may also need to be taken.
Further advice for persistent bleeding
Eye conditions that cause bleeding or vision loss should always be examined and treated by an eye specialist. With the right attention, vision can be restored to its former glory. If in doubt, always visit your doctor for further advice.
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