Can Working Out Cause That Red Eye?

You’re working out one day and you know you are pushing yourself pretty hard. You feel pounding in your head during your run or during your weight lifting. Everything seems fine, but you look in the mirror after your workout only to find that the white of your eye has turned bright red! That red eye can be pretty frightening, and you might be wondering what to do about it.

What Is It?

The name for that red eye is subconjunctival hemorrhage. That’s a fancy way of saying that a tiny blood vessel has burst and blood is now flowing out (hemorrhaging) into the tissue under the white of the eye (conjunctiva).

Are You Safe?

This condition looks much worse than it really is. The bloody look of the eye can be frightening, but subconjunctival hemorrhages are totally benign. Your vision shouldn’t be affected. Most of the time they occur due to unknown causes. What is known is that activities that raise blood pressure, such as strenuous heavy lifting or running, can be a contributing factor.

When Should You Worry?

If your eye becomes red and your vision isn’t affected, there’s no need for worry. The blood should start leaving the white of the eye within 2 or 3 weeks. However, some symptoms, together with a subconjunctival hemorrhage, can be a cause for concern:

  • Sudden change in vision
  • Pain
  • Light sensitivity
  • Eye discharge
  • Severe headache
  • Blood doesn’t clear away after 3 weeks

If you experience any of these symptoms, talk to your eye doctor right away.

Can You Keep Working Out?

It is completely safe to keep working out with a subconjunctival hemorrhage. It is wise to avoid any extremely strenuous and exerting exercises while your eye is healing. However, you should be fine with your normal workout routine. You might also want to try using artificial tears 2 to 3 times a day for 10 days while the hemorrhage heals. Be aware that aspirin and other blood thinners (e.g. warfarin) can make healing harder, so you may want to contact your doctor about taking those medications.

Using a proper breathing technique during your workout can help you avoid another subconjunctival hemorrhage in the future. If you hold your breath when you work out, which many people accidentally do, your blood pressure can raise and you increase the chances of a blood vessel bursting. Regular breathing will help regulate that pressure and keep your eyes safe.

Let a Great Eye Doc Soothe Your Red Eye Worry

Red eye is common and usually isn’t a cause for concern. If you are worried about a subconjunctival hemorrhage, you’ll want to contact an eye doctor you can trust. The doctors at Advanced Eye Medical have the knowledge and caring to help you be confident that your vision isn’t in danger. Contact their office today to address any concerns so that you can work out with confidence and strong vision.