Other Eye Conditions
Below, you’ll find several other eye conditions. If you suspect you have one of these, please get in touch so we can advise on your next steps.
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Subconjunctival haemorrhage (SCH) is a frequently occurring benign condition that causes a sudden onset bright red eye. Vision is not affected by SCH although the eye itself can feel bruised. The conjunctiva is the thin, transparent mucous membrane which covers the white (sclera) part of the eye and lines the inside of the eyelids. The conjunctiva contains fine blood vessels which are usually only just visible. With each blink, the upper eyelid glides over the conjunctiva in a well-lubricated eye but if the eyes are dry the conjunctiva can be bunched up and the blood vessels caught between the eyelids and break. Other causes of SCH include trauma or injury, vomiting, violent coughing or associated with antitreatment to thin the blood. SCH is uncommon but the frequency of SCH does increase over the age of 50 years and is associated with loss of flexibility of blood vessels with looser connective tissue beneath allowing easier spread and therefore larger haemorrhages to occur. Very rarely, SCH can be associated with vascular tumours of the conjunctiva or vascular abnormalities in and around the orbit. SCH will resolve completely without treatment but recurrent bleeds should be investigated. The use of lubricant eye drops or gels can often provide symptomatic relief whilst the haemorrhage clears.
A chalazion or meibomium cyst is a small, hard, initially tender, pea sized lump that forms within a meibomium gland located within the tarsal plate of the upper or lower eyelid. There are between 20 and 50 meibomium glands in the upper and lower eyelids. The function of meibomium glands is to produce lipid to form the surface coat of the tear film, allow the tear film to spread evenly and delay tear film evaporation. Dysfunction of these glands leads to increased lipid viscosity and decreased lipid volume leading to obstruction of the gland and secondary infection. The infected area may point through the skin of the eyelid, the lid margin or the conjunctiva on the inside of the eyelid and drain naturally or may resolve with a combination of warm compresses and antibiotic or anti-inflammatory ointment. If these measures don’t lead to resolution, surgical intervention may required to drain the chalazion and this is performed as an out-patient procedure. A local anaesthetic is used to numb the eyelid, then the chalazion is drained from the inside of the eyelid, a patch is applied and a short course of antibiotic ointment prescribed to be used for the following few days.
Chalazia often accompany blepharitis (link to blepharitis section) and / or acne rosacea. First line treatment for blepharitis centres around effective lid hygiene measures using lid scrubs. Other treatments are described in more detail in the blepharitis section.