Broken vein in the eye


Throughout the body there are tiny blood vessels to supply the cells. The smaller a blood vessel is, the thinner the layers of the walls are. These small blood vessels are also found in the eye.

If pressure is applied to the vessels from inside or outside, they can burst. Unlike in other parts of the body, the eye does not bruise, but the bleeding is directly visible. This is due to the white colour of the eyeball and the very thin corneal layer. These small bleedings are normally just as harmless as a bruise in other parts of the body, although this can look frightening in the eye.

The causes

The cause of a burst vein in the eye is an increased force acting on the blood vessel. This can be caused by high blood pressure or an accident. High blood pressure is especially a problem when it occurs suddenly and the vessels are not used to the pressure.

This happens, for example, when there are strong coughing attacks, heavy exertion or a stroke. Various underlying diseases make the blood vessels more sensitive to such pressures. Vascular diseases, diabetes and also alcoholism are possible.

A stroke can be caused by a blocked blood vessel or bleeding in the brain. Not enough blood and thus not enough oxygen reaches the downstream brain areas through the affected area. These areas of the brain send a signal to the body that not enough oxygen is getting through.

In order to transport more blood to these areas, the body increases the work of the heart and raises the blood pressure. The blood pressure can reach values of over 200, while the normal textbook value is more like 120. The vessels are not used to such pressures and especially small vessels can tear.

In most parts of the body this is not noticeable externally, but in the eye a very small burst vessel can also be seen by a strong red colouring of the white areas of the eye. In contrast to other stroke consequences, this can also happen on both sides, as it is not a nervous breakdown, but a consequence of the high blood pressure which the body develops secondarily. A stroke is a time-critical emergency that must be treated immediately.

However, the burst vein in the eye does not require treatment. You can find more information on this topic here Stroke in the eyePermanent high blood pressure can cause vascular damage over a longer or shorter period of time. The inner vessel wall becomes unstable.

The smallest blood vessels consist only of this so-called endothelial layer and can therefore burst due to the increased pressure. The only way to prevent this is to treat high blood pressure permanently by changing your lifestyle and taking pressure-reducing medication. A treatment of the eye is not necessary.

Burst veins can also serve as a warning signal for high blood pressure. Stress does not only mean psychological strain for the person affected, but always also strain for the body. Constant stress causes blood pressure to rise, which can lead to ruptured veins both acutely and over a longer period of time.

The immune system and other systems are also thrown out of balance. Due to different control circuits in the body, damage to the vascular wall can subsequently occur and therefore small vessels can also rupture. The ruptured vessel in the eye is not a major problem, but stress also has an effect on other diseases and should be prevented or reduced if possible.

If you exert a lot of effort, especially if there is an increase in pressure in the abdomen, small vessels in the eye can also burst. These include vomiting, bowel movements, heavy coughing or giving birth. The physical exertion and the contraction of the muscles lead to a sudden rise in blood pressure and a cramped facial musculature, which affects the eye from the outside.

As a direct connection is also recognisable here, the eye does not require treatment. Alcohol is one of the most frequently intentionally consumed poisons. If alcohol is consumed frequently, this poison damages the liver and also the blood vessels. Damaged or irritated blood vessels can tend to tear and this is particularly noticeable in the eyes. This does not mean, however, that an alcoholic always has red eyes, nor that red eyes indicate an alcohol problem.