What is Chemosis?
Chemosis is swelling of the conjunctiva, which is the skin of the eyeball. It can appear as jelly “yellowish” material on the eyeball. Conjunctival chemosis can occur from a variety of reasons, including anything that causes irritation or inflammation of the eye or eyelids. A common cause is any ocular/eye or eyelid surgery, including blepharoplasty surgery. It is usually transient, lasting a few days, but can be prolonged. Some patients in Beverly Hills are more prone than others to get prolonged swelling. Factors contributing to this include dry eyes or exposure keratopathy, inability to fully close the eyes, aggressive eyelid surgery, or certain underlying conditions such as conjunctivochalasis, which is loose extra conjunctiva.
Read more about chemosis from nlm.nih.gov.
Treatment For Chemosis
Treatment in Los Angeles depends on severity of the chemosis, how long it has been present, and the underlying reason. For mild swelling, using ocular lubrication (drops or ointment) are helpful. Steroid eye drops/ointment are useful to decrease the underlying the inflammation and allow the eye to heal the swelling. Chemosis after blepharoplasty usually resolves with the above treatments. If poor eyelid closure is the problem causing drying and exposure of the conjunctiva with secondary inflammation and swelling, then temporary eyelid closure (patching and/or temporary tarsorrhaphy) is helpful. Prolonged swelling may need surgery (conjunctivaplasty), to remove excess loose conjunctiva, which can be performed under local anesthesia.
Six Common Causes of Chemosis
Patients with chemosis have eyes that are swollen and watery. Often, the eyes look yellowish and fluid-filled. Though chemosis is not a harmful condition, it can be uncomfortable and embarrassing to certain patients, as the eye may swell so much that patients cannot close their eyes properly. Thankfully, chemosis is not contagious, and treatment options are typically very mild.
Mehryar (Ray) Taban, MD, is board-certified in eyelid and facial plastic surgery. If you suffer from chemosis, Dr. Taban can help alleviate your condition through a few simple treatment methods. As with most disorders and conditions, prevention is the best and most effective treatment measure against chemosis. Understanding and knowing the underlying causes of chemosis can help patients avoid the condition themselves.
1. Prior eye/eyelid surgery
The most common cause of eye chemosis is prior eye or eyelid surgery or trauma. This type of chemosis is usually temporary, lasting a few days. If prolonged, treatment may be necessary. Treatment usually starts with conservative therapy, such as eye drops. Other treatment options include temporary eye patching and conjunctivaplasty, where the excess loose conjunctiva is removed.
Chemosis occurs when eyes become irritated. Obviously, there are many ways in which the eyes, one of the most sensitive areas of the body, can become irritated. Allergies, for example, can make the eyes appear red and watery. Irritants such as pollen or animal dander can cause the production of yellow discharge in the eye, one of the most recognizable symptoms of chemosis.
Angioedema refers to swelling that occurs beneath the skin as opposed to the surface. A form of allergic reaction, angioedema tends to occur around the mouth and eyes. When it forms around the eyes, angioedema can cause irritation within the eyes, resulting in the yellowish discharge and watery-look of eyes affected with chemosis.
4. Eye Infections
Viral and bacterial infections are two common causes of chemosis. Unlike other viral or bacterial infections, however, chemosis isn’t contagious. Chemosis caused by eye infections can result in the following symptoms: watery eyes, itchiness, and blurry vision.
Hyperthyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid, a gland located in the front of your neck, produces an excessive amount of hormones. Recent studies have linked hyperthyroidism to eye-related symptoms and disorders, including chemosis!
6. Constant rubbing of the eyes
One of the most common ways that chemosis occurs is through excessive rubbing of the eyes. Constant scratching or rubbing of the eyelids can cause irritation of the eyes, in some cases resulting in chemosis. If you have chronically itchy eyes, it’s important that you discover the root cause of the itchiness before dealing with the chemosis. It’s possible that youreye irritation can be treated through other means!
Schedule a Consultation with Dr. Taban Today!
If you suffer from chemosis, contact Beverly Hills’ best oculoplastic surgeon Dr. Taban today. Depending on the extent and the severity of a patient’s chemosis, Dr. Taban may prescribe simple eye drops or ointments to alleviate the symptoms. If a patient’s chemosis is prolonged or temporarily keeps the eyelids open, a surgery called conjunctivaplasty may be performed. During this procedure, Dr. Taban removes loose conjunctiva from the eye, resulting in an eye that looks normal!
If you suffer from chemosis, please contact Los Angeles oculoplastic surgeon Dr. Taban. Call 855.822.2663 today to schedule an appointment.