A popped blood vessel in the eye, known scientifically as a subconjuctival hemorrhage, is a usually a relatively common and harmless occurrence. Several problems can cause it to happen, such as trauma and severe strain, including sneezing. Pressure changes, along with certain infections and illnesses, can also cause this.
When a blood vessel in the eye breaks, or the walls of the vessel rupture, it usually occurs in the conjunctiva, the clear membrane surrounding the eye. When a capillary or blood vessel bursts in this area, the blood usually becomes trapped between the clear surface of the eye and the white part of the eye, known as the sclera. A red spot, which can be either small or large, is often the result.
Eye trauma is one of the most common causes of a popped blood vessel in the eye. This can happen when something gently bumps or pokes the eye. It can also occur when something gets in the eye, such as a grain of sand, and the act of rubbing the eye too hard when this happens can also cause popped veins.
Another very common cause is straining. Simply sneezing or coughing too hard can cause a capillary of blood vessel to burst. This can also happen when a person vomits violently or lifts something that is too heavy.
Both a mother and an infant can end up with a popped blood vessel in the eye during childbirth. In the mother, this is usually caused by the strain of the delivery. A broken eye vessel in a newborn, on the other hand, is thought to be caused by pressure changes that occur as the infant is pushed from the womb.
Many eye disorders may also cause a blood vessel in the eye to burst. Conjunctivitis and allergies are two common examples of this. These conditions can cause the walls of the blood vessels and capillaries to weaken, leading to a subconjuctival hemorrhage.
Chronic illnesses may be to blame as well. For instance, this condition is often associated with hypertension, or high blood pressure. Some medications used to treat hypertension, especially blood thinners, may also put a person at risk of developing a burst blood vessels in the eye.
Diabetes is another chronic illness that can cause broken blood vessels in the eyes. Patients with diabetes are typically more prone to developing certain eye disorders. If this disease is not managed correctly, it can cause blood vessels in the eyes to become thin and fragile. This can lead to burst blood vessels and, possibly, a condition known as diabetic eye disease.