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Ophthalmology & Optometry/burst/broken blood vessels in the Iris?


Could heavy straining like heavy coughing ,vomiting and sneezing etc cause the blood vessels in the Iris to burst/break (subconjunctival hemorrhage) in the the same way the blood vessels in the whites of the eyes burst/break due to heavy strain? If so what would the symptoms be?

Hi Mark,
A subconjunctival hemorrhage is blood beneath  the conjunctiva; blood is caught between the episcleral layer and the usually transparent movable skin-like conjunctiva in front of it.  The eye has several layers, the outer of which are the sclera, episclera, conjunctiva.  You can have hemorrhages in or under the conjunctiva and due to different reasons like straining, rubbing, dryness, etc. The hemorrhages in or under the conjunctiva aren't usually anything to worry about.  However, a hemorrhage on the iris is inside the eyeball and a possible big deal.  I'm not sure what you're asking, but if this doesn't clear it up, let me know.
Mitch Axelrod, OD  

Ophthalmology & Optometry

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Mitchell Axelrod


I'm happy to answer questions about eye exam findings and procedures, glasses and contact lens types/prescriptions/problems. I can also answer questions about general eye conditions/diseases. I do not answer questions concerning surgical techniques/procedures. Please state your age or within a small range when asking questions, as it is often important.


Optometrist 19 yrs.

Doctor of Optometry, cum laude; Residency in Ocular Disease

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