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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 10785
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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my thumbnail accidently broke a vein on my eye ball. The white

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my thumbnail accidently broke a vein on my eye ball. The white of my eyes immediately filled with blood. It has been 15 hours and the blood is still there in the eye ball. How long will this last? I am traveling next week on an airplane. Is this okay?

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In the vast majority of cases, sub conjunctival hemorrhage is nothing to worry about. It is usually not a sign of any serious condition but rather is just a small broken blood vessel in the conjunctiva that looks much worse than it really is.

No treatment is necessary. Think of a subconjunctival hemorrhage as a bruise. The reason it looks so red (some people say it looks like a piece of raw meat) is that the skin on your eye is very thin so the underlying blood shows through easily. On your arm, for instance, a bruise looks blue/purple because the overlying skin is thick, blocking the red color of the blood.

Like a bruise elsewhere a subconjunctival hemorrhage will slowly go away over the course of a couple of weeks. It may spread around the globe some and change colors as it clears. This is nothing to be concerned about.
There is no problem with you flying....other then the TSA agents may ask you if the other person looks worse ;o)

Stop using the visine...that will just irritate things and will not get this "red out". If you want you can use natural tears to soothe your eye, but it really isn't necessary. The blood will slowly clear over the next couple of weeks. If you are flying to a wedding just close that eye for all the pictures :)
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