Symptoms and Signs of Bleeding in Eye (Hyphema)

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Medically Reviewed on 8/18/2021

Doctor's Notes on Bleeding in Eye (Hyphema) Causes, Symptoms, Signs, Home and Medical Treatment

Hyphema (bleeding in the eye) is a term that means there is blood collecting in the anterior chamber (space between the cornea and the iris) of the eye. Signs and symptoms of a hyphema include pain in or around the eye, aches and crampy feelings in the eye, blurred vision, and possible conjunctival redness and swelling. Some individuals may have increased ocular pressure.

Trauma (blunt, penetrating, or perforating) is the most common cause of hyphema. Other causes are abnormal blood vessels, clotting disorders, anticoagulating medicines, post eye surgery, and other problems like inflammation due to infections, vitreoretinal disease, UGH syndrome (uveitis-glaucoma-hyphema syndrome), leukemia, and juvenile xanthogranuloma disease.

What Is the Treatment for Hyphema (Bleeding in the Eye)?

Treatment of mild cases at home usually self-resolve in about a week. For pain control, do not use any aspirin-containing medication as it may cause further bleeding. Bed rest with an ice pack and avoiding physical straining is recommended. A doctor may administer corticosteroids (topical drops and/or IV) for severe bleeding. Topical cycloplegic drugs may be used if photophobia or ciliary spasms occur. If you are taking blood thinners, contact your doctor immediately.


Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.