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Red spot on the eye: causes and treatment

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

A common problem and a common reason for consultation is any condition in the eye, especially when a red spot appears inside it. Although it usually corresponds to a subconjunctival hemorrhage, other causes such as allergens in the air, overexposure to the sun, or even contact lenses can also be associated.

The human eye is made up of the cornea, the iris, the pupil, the lens, the retina, the conjunctiva, which is the membrane that internally covers the eyelids, and the sclera that lubricates and protects the cornea, is the white part of the eye. . It is in the conjunctiva where there are many blood vessels and the rupture of some of the conditions the outflow of blood towards both layers (the conjunctiva and the sclera) generating some red stain in the eye. If you want to know more, we invite you to continue reading this FastlyHealarticle, in which we explain all the causes of a red spot in the eye and its treatment.

The human eye: characteristics

The human eye is an organ responsible for receiving light signals and converting them into nerve impulses, which is its primary function. Once the electrical impulses are received, they must be conducted to the vision center located in the brain.

It acts like a digital camera integrating all its parts:

  • The cornea is similar to the camera lens; it allows light to be focused.
  • The iris and pupil control the amount of light that enters the eyeball by adjusting the pupil depending on the need for sunshine.
  • The lens is the focusing system that automatically enables the accommodation process.
  • The conjunctiva is a fragile and transparent membrane that internally covers the eyelids and contains numerous blood vessels.
  • The sclera is the white part of the eye responsible for lubricating and protecting the cornea.
  • Finally, the light reaches the retina as the image sensor.

The result is that the human eye acts very similar to how a digital camera does.

Red spot in the eye from subconjunctival hemorrhage or eye effusion

The cause of the presence of a typical red spot in the eye is the rupture of some of the blood vessels that are located in the conjunctiva, a product of the filtration of blood in both the conjunctiva and the sclera.

Medically it is known as a hylophagous or subconjunctival hemorrhage, commonly known as ocular effusion. The characteristic manifestation of this condition is the appearance of a red spot of blood in the conjunctiva due to the rupture of a blood vessel or capillary located in this area.

Eye bleeding can be due to:

  1. A sudden increase in blood pressure from excessive coughing or sneezing.
  2. Hit or trauma to the eye directly includes a contusion and even vigorous rubbing of the eyes.
  3. Hypertensive crisis.
  4. Vomiting
  5. Intake of some medications that directly influence blood clottings, such as Aspirin or Warfarin.
  6. Previous eye surgery, for example, cataract surgery.

Depending on the extent of the red spot in the eye, the doctor will assess and determine the associated risk factors to indicate the necessary treatment, although in many cases, these spots in the vision (due to subconjunctival hemorrhage) disappear on their own with time. , between 7 and 10 days.

According to the Southern Medical Society of Physicians 1, a subconjunctival hemorrhage is a frequent condition treated in the ophthalmological consultation of the adult population, representing 3 to 9% of all eye diseases.

Other causes of a red spot in the eye

Knowing that the common cause of a red spot in the eye is subconjunctival bleeding, it is time to understand the other possible reasons related to this condition:


This is another frequent condition that generates changes in the color of the white part of the eye, appearing completely red or with some reddish spots. The reason is due to inflammation of the conjunctiva. This is usually accompanied by other symptoms such as:

  • Intense itching
  • Increased sensitivity to light.
  • Sensation of having grit in the eye.
  • Difficulty opening the eyes when waking up.

There are three types of conjunctivitis:

  1. Viral conjunctivitis: is caused by the infection of a virus transmitted through the air and rubbing the eyes with the hands. The characteristic of viral conjunctivitis is the presence of a red eye with a whitish discharge.
  2. Bacterial conjunctivitis: caused after staying in pools that have not been adequately disinfected. It is characterized by presenting, in addition to the red-eye, yellowish-green discharge. The bacteria responsible for generating this type of conjunctivitis is the protozoan Acanthamoeba.
  3. Allergic conjunctivitis is the product of a reaction defined as hypersensitivity to some substances that may be harmless to other people, such as dust, animal dander, and pollen. This type of condition is characterized by presenting in addition to the red-eye, itching, and tearing and is common in people who suffer from allergic rhinitis, bronchial asthma, and dermatitis.

Allergens in the environment

The environment is affected by different pollutants suspended in the air that may be capable of generating eye allergies and triggering intense rubbing of the eyes, which may break some blood vessels and, in turn, the manifestation of a red spot in the eye.

Irritation from seawater

Sometimes, the presence of red spots in the eye results from the irritative process after excessive contact with salt. This is included as a chemical attack that directly affects the conjunctiva.

Eye dryness

Widely related to air conditioners and heaters, this syndrome is caused by a lack of lubrication and moisture in the eye. In addition to manifesting the slightly reddened conjunctiva, there is stinging, pain, heaviness in the eyelids, blurred vision, and a sensation of grit being easily confused with conjunctivitis. This syndrome represents a joint consultation in the office of ophthalmologists.

This condition is subdivided into other related ones:

  • Sicca keratitis: a condition that clearly describes the inflammation and dryness in the cornea.
  • Keratoconjunctivitis sicca: describes dry eye but affects the cornea and conjunctiva.
  • Lacrimal dysfunction syndrome: is related to tear secretion with inadequate quality.

Erosion of the cornea

It is a superficial wound in the corner of ​​the eye. Being a type of discoloration, it manifests itself with the usual red spot. In this case, in addition, the painful eye is associated.

Eye fatigue

The regular use of computers, electronic books, tablets, and smartphones and generating vision fatigue can cause redness of the eyes.

A foreign body or contact lens wear

The permanence of a foreign body in the eye or even incorrectly placed contact lenses can cause discomfort in the eyeball, pain, and redness after the sensation of rubbing.

corneal ulcer

It is a type of injury or wound in the cornea caused by the permanence of fungi, viruses, bacteria, or parasites, as well as by a foreign object in the eye, by dry eye syndrome, or by improper closing of the eyelids. It is characterized by pain, red vision, and sensitivity to light.

Corneal abrasion

It is a type of injury caused by scratching in the cornea due to a loss of cells in the extender layer of the cornea. Anything such as paper, the branch of a tree, a finger, sand, and makeup can provoke it and cause red-eye and sensitivity to light.


Blepharitis is another cause of eye redness due to excess oily production generated by the glands in the eyelid.

More severe red eye causes

Other more severe reasons can cause redness of the eye:

  1. Eye infections: whether viral, bacterial or fungal, any agent or microorganism that invades the eyeball can cause redness of the eye, blurred vision, ocular discharge, and itching. When an eye infection is suspected, a visit to the ophthalmologist is essential for effective diagnosis and treatment to avoid severe damage to vision. These possible eye infections are viral keratitis, fungal keratitis, trachoma, and bacterial endophthalmitis.
  2. Glaucoma: although glaucoma generally progresses asymptomatically until it reaches the state of gravity where there is loss of vision, there is an exception with angle-closure or narrow-angle glaucoma, which can generate sudden symptoms that indicate Your presence. Among them are the red-eye, dilated pupils, headache, and pain in the eye.
  3. Uveitis: This condition occurs when the uvea, an intermediate sheet that is located between the retina and the sclera, is also defined as the layer that is responsible for nourishing the eye through the number of blood vessels they have, becomes inflamed, red, and swells. It is also usually accompanied by decreased visual acuity in a slowly progressive and painful way.

Red spot in the eye: treatment

There are many causes related to a red spot in the eye; the best and safest way to treat it is to go to the ophthalmologist to determine the reason associated with this condition and receive effective treatment as soon as possible.

If the red spot is caused by subconjunctival hemorrhage or ocular effusion, as it is a non-dangerous pathology, it will not require standardized treatment since the flow is usually reabsorbed between 7 and 10 days. However, a medical evaluation would be advisable to determine the cause of subconjunctival bleeding, one of the most frequent increases in blood pressure, which should be monitored daily.

In the case of other conditions related to the red-eye, the treatment will be individualized according to the previous assessment made by the ophthalmologist.

The best recommendations for red-eye are:

  1. Don’t share personal items, like towels and tissues.
  2. Wash your hands frequently.
  3. If you wear contact lenses, follow the ophthalmologist’s instructions for replacement and care, and do not sleep with them.
  4. If you go to the pool, it is advisable to wear swimming goggles to protect your eyes from any bacteria found in the water.
  5. Avoid touching your eyes until you first wash your hands.
  6. You can use over-the-counter eye drops or artificial tears.
  7. Apply a towel dampened with cold water over your eyes.
  8. Use a towel exclusively for the face.
  9. Don’t share makeup.
  10. Avoid staying in dry and polluted environments.
  11. With excessive use of screens, it blinks frequently.
  12. During the treatment and as directed by the doctor, change the pillowcases and sheets frequently.
  13. Any treatment you are going to use in this area must be indicated by the ophthalmologist, do not self-medicate in any way.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Red spot in the eye: causes and treatment , we recommend that you enter our Eyes and vision category .

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