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As long as it is purely a broken blood vessel and not a red, injected eye from inflammation in the eye, then wearing a soft contact lens is usually okay and may just be difficult to wear from a comfort standpoint.
However, inflammation can often masquerade as a broken blood vessel and if there is inflammation in the eye then wearing the contact lens should be avoided. Only an eye doctor can tell the difference for certain.
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DISCLAIMER: My opinion is solely informative and does not constitute a formal medical opinion or recommendation. For a formal medical opinion and/or recommendation you must be examined by your doctor.
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I was lifting bags of rocks for my rock garden this evening...and the last time I looked in the mirror (prior to the redness)...the redness wasn't there.
To clarify, would I be correct in saying that if it's an infection, don't wear the lens AND...
if it 'appears' to be only a broken blood vessel-- I can then wear the contact but need to take it out if I feel discomfort?
THe internet says 1-2 weeks for it to clear up. Are there any signs of it clearing up before the red dot actually goes away.
Yes, this sure sounds like what's called a subconjunctival hemorrhage, or essentially a bruise to the eye.
Yes, you are also correct that if it's an infection, don't wear the contacts and if it's a broken blood vessel as it sounds, you really should only be limited from contact lens use by discomfort.
It can take one to two weeks to clear, just like a bruise anywhere else on the body. Mostly the discomfort comes when there is enough blood to cause a wrinkling or swelling in the conjunctiva. When it is flat against the eye there is likely not to be any discomfort from it.
The signs of it clearing are a thinning out of the hemorrhage (becoming more patchy, less dense) and less puffy. It can also change colors, like a bruise resolving. For the most part, these hemorrhages are fairly inconsequential, unless you begin to have multiple hemorrhages--then your doctor should look into bleeding problems.
Did that clarify things?