Hyphema (Blood in the Eye)

Injuries to the eye are a common result of sports activity, and are usually caused when the eye has undergone some sort of impact (perhaps with a football, for example). Hyphema is most commonly incurred in racquet and ball sports.

What is Hyphema?

Hyphema is bleeding within the anterior section of the eye, specifically between the iris and cornea (the area responsible for allowing fluids to flow in and out and provide nourishment to the eye and the tissues surrounding it). Hyphema can be a result of a number of causes, including:

  • Trauma
  • Eye surgery
  • Eye tumour
  • Blood vessel abnormalities
  • Sports injuries

What are the symptoms?

Aside from visual confirmation (a noticeable blood shot area within the eye) there are a number of symptoms that are linked to Hyphema:

  • Blurred vision/ loss of vision
  • Blood in the white of the eye (blood shot)
  • Pain in the eye

How is Hyphema diagnosed?

After your own recognition of the symptoms, a correct diagnosis should be made by a doctor. Your GP will perform a complete examination of the eye and review your medical history before deciding upon whether your injury can be labelled as Hyphema.

How is Hyphema treated?

After a definitive diagnosis of Hyphema a number of treatments can be used in order to correct the injury, all of which are quite simple:

  • Placing a patch over the affected eye
  • Administration of eye drops
  • Daily checks of pressure within the eye

These treatments will usually be performed by an ophthalmologist (a physician who specialises in eye care).

Are there any long –term side effects?

Hyphema can result in several complications, which span from bleeding of the injury (subsequent to treatment) through to permanent damage to structures within the eye (blood vessels etc) and even loss of vision, both temporary and permanent.

Find a Sports Injury Clinic

- OR -

Latest Articles