Is vomiting a cause of prominence of the vessels of sclera?

Q. Could vomiting cause prominence of the vessels of sclera?

Answered by
Dr. Shikha Gupta
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Jul 10, 2016 and last reviewed on: May 26, 2020

Hi doctor,

I am a 21 year old female. I was bulimic for about a year. It happens once or twice a week. I never noticed any permanent changes in my eyes throughout my episodes. However, the last time I ever binged and purged three months ago, I vomited violently. A few weeks after this, I noticed that the vessels in my sclera are indefinitely more prominent than before. Did this happen because of the continuous pressure subjected to my eyes with vomiting? Or could it just be due to many hours of reading and laptop use? I have seen an ophthalmologist and he said that there is nothing wrong with my eyes and suspect a very mild case of blepharitis or bilateral dry eyes. I am using Optive comfort solution. I would like to know if my bulimic phase could have caused the prominent vessels in my eyes, as this has not been mentioned anywhere else online.



Welcome to

I can understand your concern regarding your complaints.

  • Do you have any pain in your eyes or developed any problem in vision in that duration? Is it associated with any redness?
  • It would have been of help if you have sent a recent photograph of both of your eyes. Keep using Optive comfort eye solution.
  • Please get your intraocular pressure checked and fundus examination under slit lamp to check for any effects of raising pressure.
  • If you are highly myopic (short-sight), then see your ophthalmologist to rule out staphyloma (protrusion of sclera or cornea).

Revert back with the answers to the above questions to an eye care ophthalmologist online -->

Thank you doctor,

I never had vision problems. I did have some mild pain initially, but that subsided with Optive use. Still, I have the redness. My eyes look normal in general. They only look red when compared to how my eyes were a few months ago. The ophthalmologist has checked my pressure and ran other tests like fluorescein etc., and all the results were normal. My main question is whether the past bulimia could be the reason for the increased prominence of the vessels or is it more likely due to other reasons? In your past patient experiences, could vomiting cause permanent change to the eye? Please explain.



Welcome back to

  • You may not be actually having any prominence of vessels in the sclera or episclera that is pathological otherwise your ophthalmologist would have diagnosed it.
  • I would like to tell you that your BMI - body mass index is quite high and you should try to control it with exercises and controlling your diet.
  • I would like to mention that fluorescein staining which was done by your ophthalmologist was to check the dryness of eyes, which may also be a cause that you are feeling your normal vessels of sclera while blinking.
  • Mild pain may be due to blepharitis, which is an infection of eyelids and it is also mild at present as you told.
  • Again, I would like to mention that a photograph would have helped me in saying that whether it is physiological or pathological.

The Probable causes:

1. Meibomitis.
2. Blepharitis.

Treatment plan:

Keep using Optive comfort eye drops at least three times a day for dry eyes.

Preventive measures:

Prevent prolonged use of laptops and mobiles at a go.

Regarding follow up:

Revert back with the photos to an eye care ophthalmologist online.--->

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