A hyphema or a subconjunctival hemorrhage both cause bleeding in the eye, according to WebMD. A hyphema occurs when blunt trauma or a fall causes the eye to bleed between the iris and the cornea. A subconjunctival hemorrhage occurs when a small blood vessel within the eye bursts and traps blood underneath the conjunctiva. Coughing, high blood pressure, blunt trauma, sneezing or a bleeding disorder are some causes of a subconjunctival hemorrhage.
People with a hyphema should seek medical attention immediately, states WebMD. A hyphema can cause permanent vision loss and eye damage, so a doctor may examine the eye under a microscope and order a CT scan to check for damage. A hyphema may also continue to bleed for several days after the initial trauma, so patients should rest in bed with their head elevated as much as possible. A doctor typically prescribes eye drops and an eye shield to treat the injury.
A subconjunctival hemorrhage does not require medical treatment in most cases, notes Mayo Clinic. A subconjunctival hemorrhage appears as a red patch on the white of the eye. This condition should not cause pain, vision changes or fluid discharge from the eye, explains MedicineNet. However, people who experience any of these symptoms or have high blood pressure, a bleeding disorder or recent eye trauma should seek immediate medical attention.