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This sounds like a subconjunctival hemorrhage, which is a fancy way of saying broken blood vessels in the white part of the eye. It isn't dangerous, just unsightly. You can use plain saline eyedrops if the eye feels dry or irritated. Cool compresses can also help. DON'T use drops that are touted to "get the red out." The blood will disappear in a week or so. If you have discharge or blurry vision, that would be the time to see your doctor.
Sometimes this can happen from no more than a hearty sneeze.
Please let me know if you need additional information about this.
Yes, you buy saline eye drops over the counter. You can ask any pharmacist. The brand name doesn't matter since generics are just as good as brand names. "Refresh" is one brand name though. Just stress to the pharmacist that you want lubricant eye drops, not something containing tetrahydrolazine.
You can print this out and take it to the pharmacist if you like.
To use a cool compress, wring a washcloth out of cold water and apply it over your closed eyes. Repeat as often as you like.
That sounds like a real nightmare for your friend.
You should do just fine. What it needs is "tincture of time" which just means it will get better if you just wait it out. Sometimes the best intervention is no intervention.
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