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Hyphema: Wikis


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Classification and external resources

Hyphema - occupying half of anterior chamber of eye
ICD-10 H21.0
ICD-9 364.41
DiseasesDB 31299
MedlinePlus 001021
eMedicine oph/765
MeSH C11.290.484
The eye is divided into a small front (anterior) chamber, in front of the lens, and a large rear (posterior) chamber, behind the lens. The anterior chamber is the light gray area at the top of this illustration.

Hyphema (sometimes hyphaema) is blood in the front (anterior) chamber of the eye. It may appear as a reddish tinge, or it may appear as a small pool of blood at the bottom of the iris or in the cornea.



Hyphemas are frequently caused by injury (blunt trauma) and may partially or completely block vision.

Presentation and prognosis

Hyphemas may resolve by themselves, they may require medical treatment, or they may result in permanent visual impairment.

A long-standing hyphema may result in hemosiderosis and heterochromia.[1] Blood accumulation may also cause an elevation of the intraocular pressure.


Treatment of hyphema consists of 4 major tenants:

1. Light activity or even bedrest (to prevent a rebleed into the anterior chamber, which may cause obstruction of vision, or a painful rise in pressure)

2. Elevation of the head of the bed by approximately 45 degrees (so that the hyphema can settle out inferiorly and avoid obstruction of vision, as well as to facilitate resolution)

3. Wearing of an eye shield at night time (to prevent accidental rubbing of the eyes during sleep, which can precipitate a rebleed)

4. Avoidance of pain medications such as aspirin or ibuproften (which thin the blood and increase the risk of a rebleed - instead, acetaminophen can be used for pain control).

It is controversial among ophthalmologists whether a steroid medication or a dilating drop should be used in treatment of hyphema. Steroids aim to reduce the amount of inflammation, but are not without side effects. Dilating drops aim to increase comfort from the traumatized iris as well as reduce bleeding, but can also cause the pupil to be fixed in a dilated state via posterior synechiae.

The vast majority of hyphemas resolve on their own without complication.

Some cases of non-resolving hyphemas, or hyphemas that are associated with high pressure, may require surgery to clean out the anterior chamber and prevent corneal blood staining.

See also

External links

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