Blood in the Eye (Hyphema)
What is a hyphema?
Hyphema refers to blood in the anterior chamber of the eye. The anterior chamber is the front section of the eye's interior where fluid flows in and out, providing nourishment to the eye and surrounding tissues. A hyphema is usually caused by a trauma to the eye but can also occur spontaneously in children with other medical problems. Blood is seen in the eyeball. This is a medical emergency and immediate medical care is necessary.
What are the symptoms of a hyphema?
Symptoms of hyphema include blood visible in the eye, usually following some type of trauma to the eye.
The symptoms of hyphema may resemble other eye conditions or medical problems. Always consult your child's doctor for a diagnosis.
How is a hyphema diagnosed?
Diagnosis is usually made after a complete medical history and physical examination of your child's eye.
Treatment for a hyphema
Specific treatment for a hyphema will be determined by your child's doctor based on:
Your child's age, overall health, and medical history
Extent of the injury
Your child's tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
Expectations for the course of the injury
Your opinion or preference
Most children with a hyphema will be treated in an emergency room. An ophthalmologist (doctor who specializes in comprehensive eye care) may be involved in the care of the child. Treatment may include:
A patch over the affected eye
No reading due to the movements of the eye
Head of the child's bed should be elevated about 40 degrees to help the body reabsorb the blood in the eye
Daily checks of the pressure inside the eye
What are the complications from a hyphema?
The following are some of the complications that may occur from a hyphema:
The injury may bleed again
Glaucoma. An increase in the pressure inside of the eye. If found, glaucoma must be closely monitored. Increased pressure may cause loss of vision or blindness if untreated.
Loss of vision
Damage to different structures in the eye
Last Reviewed Date: 03/28/2013
© 2000-2014 The StayWell Company, LLC. 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.