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.
Does this answer your question?
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?