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From Boston, Massachusetts, USA:

I am 32 year old, and I have had diabetes for 20 years with no complications, except for slight albuminuria. One month ago, I had my eyes checked. Everything was fine, and I was told to come again in a year. Recently, I woke up, and my left eye was completely red because of a broken blood vessel. It has never happened before. I am really worried. It is not extremely painful, but the eye is much more sensitive now. Should I go to see a doctor? Is this a sign of retinopathy?


A red eye is best evaluated by a doctor visit. Yes, you should see an eye doctor. Although it may be a broken vessel as you say, it could be a more serious lesion resembling a broken blood vessel. If it is truly a subconjuctival hemorrhage, it is not related to your diabetes, and it is not a sign of retinopathy. A hemorrhage is usually benign and idiopathic, or, commonly arises from rubbing the eyes during sleep, or, from a straining maneuver such as lifting or coughing. Recommendations are to rule out hypertension, and if these episodes become recurrent, to look into bleeding disorders. No treatment is required. It resolves in one to two weeks and is not helped by Visine-like products, but may resolve quicker by applying warm compresses, after the second day, three times a day, for 10 minutes each.


Original posting 2 Oct 2000
Posted to Complications


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:14
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