This typically benign condition is often the cause for great alarm as the bright red appearance of the eye is quite dramatic. Rest assured this condition is most often caused by a simple broken blood vessel in the conjunctiva. This is often caused by the valsalva maneuver, which is the bearing down action seen when coughing, sneezing, vomiting and straining. Frequent reoccurrences can be caused by bleeding disorders and bulimia. Cold compresses and avoidance of blood thinners like aspirin and fish oil can help this condition resolve in 1-2 weeks. Evaluation is still recommended in all cases as some of the rare causes can include internal eye bleeding and cancer.