Mechanics of retinal bleeds

Just wondering…

When my finger bleeds, it eventually stops, as do any other bleeds around my body.

So what’s the difference with a retinal bleed? My ‘big’ ones have always stopped pretty quickly (thank the lord) but I’ve had a recurrent ‘mini’ bleed from the same spot for months now. Why doesn’t it clot up like an ordinary blood-loss?

Any medical experts present?


I’m not a medical expert, but this is the way it’s been explained to me by various ophthalmologists over the years. When you have initial bleeds, the eye tries to repair itself. To maintain blood flow to the retina, the leaking blood vessels (or the retinal cells – I can’t remember) release a growth factor (specifically vascular endothelial growth factor) that prompts the growth of new new micro-capillaries. These new blood vessels are very fine, though, and inclined to rupture as well. This is the stage called proliferative retinopathy. Oftentimes laser treatments target not only actively bleeding vessels but new (and not yet bleeding) growth, to prevent further growth and potential bleeding. Avastin, a drug that targets vascular endothelial growth factor, may also be injected.

Here’s a more expert explanation. It also explains why retinopathy can worsen after initial treatment.


Thanks for this link. I wish I had seen this a long time ago. It explains a lot of what I have gone through since the beginning of 2011. I can tell you that what they say in this article is almost identical to my own experience. Especially in regards to the quick reduction of my blood sugar. I really do appreciate this very good explanation of the issue and the process of treatment. Everyone should see this.

Let me add in my 2 cents. Once I had a problem after I had been flooded with 40 lbs of liquid while in the hospital under medical care. They had me on so many intravenous bags I had to sign myself out to save my life and went home and found I was 40 lbs heavier than just three days earlier. So that caused the vessels to erupt and I had the laser cauterization done awhile later. But over the years the ophthalmologist doctor got sick of me coming as there was nothing wrong, so I asked him once if he wanted to know what I take and he said he was not interested in supplements. Rutin is something that does strengthen blood vessel walls, so I tell you that as maybe that will help you. And I learned of that on this site from another user after that incident and I suppose it has indeed helped me. It was a person studying to be in the medical field and she had replied to my story of the incident so I did take her suggestion and have used it ever since…but this site got rid of the group on supplements, much to my dismay as people here feel supplements are woo woo and they do not like it when I mention how I have been cured of various issues with various supplements. I have also solved the anemia finally. I also solved the reverse T3 issue but did that with a hormone.

Allen, When I had retinal bleeds in the early 1980s, as soon as the blood cleared I would have laser treatments and this would stop the bleeding in that spot. I continued to have smallish bleeds followed by laser treatments for the next 10-12 years. The doctor then said they had done all the laser treatments they could. Since that time I have had no more bleeds. My eyes are stable and MD. says I only need a check up once a yr. vs. every 6 months. Even after all the treatments my right eye is still 20/20 and left is 20/40 which is what is was before I became T1D. I have lost some of my peripheral vision but am still able to drive without accidents in a long time.


I have had multi laser treatments in both eyes, done in the 90’s. Left eye is my problem eye, also. Those terrible bouts of laser left me with vision blocks and, of course, diminished peripheral vision. I also have the vitreous pulling slightly on the macula.

Just had cataract surgery almost 2 weeks ago on left eye and not sure vision is better. Hoping vitreous isn’t causing further damage. Will see doctor in two days and will see what’s what.