What is Chemosis?
Chemosis is swelling of the conjunctiva, which is the skin of the eyeball. It can appear as “gelly” “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 of chemosis is any ocular/eye or eyelid surgery, including blepharoplasty. It is usually transient, lasting a few days, but can be prolonged. Some patients are more prone than others to get prolonged chemosis. Factors contributing to chemosis include dry eyes or exposure keratopathy, inability to fully close the eyes, aggressive eyelid surgery, or certain underlying conditions such as conjunctivachalasis, which is loose extra conjunctiva.
Treatment For Chemosis
Treatment depends on severity of the chemosis, how long it has been present, and the underlying reason. For mild, early chemosis, 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 chemosis. 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 (chemosis), then temporary eyelid closure (patching and/or temporary tarsorrhaphy) is helpful. Prolonged chemosis may need surgery (conjunctivaplasty), to remove excess loose conjunctiva, which can be performed under local anesthesia.
Contact Dr. Taban
To alleviate chemosis, it is important for the patient to follow the treatment plan as best as possible after being evaluated by an ophthalmologist or oculoplastic surgeon. Dr. Mehryar (Ray) Taban is a board certified ocular-plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills and Santa Barbara. If you would like to learn more about Chemosis or the treatment options offered by Dr. Taban, please contact us today to schedule an initial consultation.
Next, learn about blepharospasm.