What is it?

A sub-conjunctival haemorrhage is caused by bleeding underneath the conjunctiva (the transparent lining over the white part of the eye).

This condition often looks worse than it really is. Usually it does not threaten your vision and it is not painful or dangerous.

If you have experienced a recent trauma to your eye, examination by an eye health professional is recommended, in case of other damage.


  • spontaneous/unknown cause
  • physical trauma to the eye
  • violent coughing, sneezing or vomiting
  • high blood pressure
  • medications such as aspirin and warfarin that thin the blood and therefore increase the risk of bleeding.


  • In general, no treatment is required. The redness may spread and go yellow before disappearing completely from the eye. This can take up to several weeks.
  • If the eye is uncomfortable or gritty, lubricating drops or ointment may be used. These are available over the counter at your local pharmacy.
  • Please consult your family doctor if your blood pressure is elevated, particularly if you have experienced repeated sub-conjunctival haemorrhages.

More information

If you are concerned that your eye condition is not improving or is getting worse please contact your GP or the Emergency Department at the Eye and Ear.

Disclaimer This document describes the generally accepted practice at the time of publication only. It is only a summary of clinical knowledge regarding this area. The Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital makes no warranty, express or implied, that the information contained in this document is comprehensive. They accept no responsibility for any consequence arising from inappropriate application of this information.

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  • Sub-conjunctival Haemorrhage #28
  • Owner: Emergency Department
  • Last Reviewed: August 14, 2020
  • Next Review: August 8, 2023