Skip to main content
Broken Blood Vessel in the Eye

You are listening to Health Library:

Broken Blood Vessel in the Eye

Apr 16, 2019

A broken blood vessel in the eye can look quite painful and obvious. But is it serious enough for emergency medical attention? On today's Health Minute, emergency room physician Dr. Troy Madsen explains whether or not a broken blood vessel is something you should be worried about.

Learn more about this health topic in the full-length interview.

Episode Transcript

Announcer: The Health Minute, produced by University of Utah Health.

Interviewer: Broken blood vessel in the eye. Dr. Troy Madsen, ER or not?

Dr. Madsen: Well, a broken blood vessel in the eye is one of those things that's just absolutely obvious to everyone you see. Everyone is going to ask you about it, say, "What happened to your eye?" It's essentially just a bruise on the eye. If it happened on your hand and you had a bruise there, no one would ask about it, but the blood vessels in the eye are so small that, sometimes, maybe while you're sleeping, you just turn wrong and bump something, and it causes a little bruise there. You don't need to go to the ER for it.

Now, if you've had significant trauma to the eye, you've been hit in the eye, if you notice that there's blood behind the cornea, so in front of the colored part of your eye, that's much more concerning. But if you just wake up one day, you've got some red on your eye, it's going to heal up after a few days. No need to rush to the ER.

Announcer: To find out more about this and other health and wellness topics, visit