Imagine, you wake one morning to discover that your eye is excessively itchy and feels like you have something foreign inside that is causing irritation. When you peer in the mirror, you spot a small, clear bubble on the white part of your eye. This small bubble could be what is known in optometry as a conjunctival cyst. Even though conjunctival cysts are a fairly common occurrence, spotting one on your eye for the first time can definitely be a little alarming. Here are a few of the biggest questions about conjunctival cysts and the answers you will want to know if you have one.
What causes a conjunctival cyst?
A conjunctival cyst can be caused by many different things, and it can be difficult to precisely diagnose what caused the problem. In some cases, a foreign body in the eye can scrape against the conjunctiva (the white part) of the eye, causing an abrasion that leads to the cyst. Contact lens wearers may see a conjunctival cyst pop up if their lenses have irritated their eyes. These cysts can also be related to allergies, minor infections, or minor over-accumulations of tear products.
Should you call your optometrist to have the cyst checked out?
It is always a good idea to have the bubble or blister checked out by your optometrist for proper diagnosis. Even though most doctors will take a wait-and-see approach with a conjunctival cyst and most of them are benign, it is best to have the problem assessed initially because, sometimes, what appears to be a cyst could be a different problem entirely. Your doctor may even lance the cyst if it is large enough to cause disruptions in your vision or are excessively bothersome. However, in most cases, the conjunctival cyst will just go away on its own without treatment.
What can you do at home to relieve the symptoms caused by the cyst?
An optometrist, such as EyeLovers, may send you home with not much more than some prescription eye drops that contain an antihistamine or soothing agent for redness reduction. But, there are a few things you can do at home to help alleviate the symptoms that come along with a benign conjunctival cyst. You can apply cold compresses to your closed eye to soothe irritation and itching. It can also be helpful to keep your eye well lubricated with artificial tears. Make sure that you avoid wearing eye makeup, which can cause further irritation, and avoid rubbing your eyes when they itch.