A few days ago I woke up with a spot of blood in the eye. It did not cause pain or discomfort, but it was very apparent. A few hours later it was gone, so I think it was not serious, but I don’t know whether it may be important or occur again? Why do you think it happens?

The bloodshot eyes, subconjunctival haemorrhage or hiposfagma is a condition that we see quite often in the emergency department of our ophthalmology services, and it creates a high degree of anxiety in those affected and their relatives. It is a collection of blood in the anterior portion of the eye, beneath the conjunctiva.

It is usually of unknown cause, although there may also be triggers as coughing, sneezing, Valsalva manoeuvre, constipation, treatment with antiplatelet agents or anticoagulants or ocular trauma. Faced with a hyposphagma blood pressure should be taken to rule out a hypertensive crisis. If the hyposphagma is recurrent, especially if accompanied by skin haemorrhage, coagulation tests should be performed.

The normal evolution of the process is similar to that of a hematoma located in any other part of the body: the blood is reabsorbed without treatment within 2-3 weeks.