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Bumps On The White Part Of The Eyes Can Be Scary

Small transparent bumps over the white part of the eye that appear suddenly are usually diagnosed as inclusion cysts or  Conjunctival lymphangiectasia. Fortunately neither one is nearly as bad as it sounds.
 Conjunctival lymphangiectasia

Fluid Cyst On Conjunctiva Of Eye

Two Common Causes For Cysts On The Eyes

Inclusion cysts are small fluid filled cysts from a thin enclosure of conjunctival epithelium. Epithelium is the surface tissue on the eye, analogous to the epidermis that forms the superficial layer of our skin. Sometimes inclusion cysts form after various types of eye surgery (strabismus for crossed eyes, cataract surgery, vitrectomy, ptosis surgery for drooping eyelids, and scleral buckles for retinal detachments). On occasion the fluid may be a little turgid or cloudy towards the bottom of an inclusion cyst and create a more difficult diagnosis. Inclusion cysts may also cause discomfort when larger as they rub against the eyelids.

Conjunctival lymphangiectasia are the second common cause for transparent cysts on the surface of the eye. Unlike an inclusion cyst, these often appear as multiple small bumps on the surface of the eyes. The eye has a lymph system that help drain the fluid that forms between cells. Unlike the small capillary blood vessels (and inclusion cysts), it is not very complex. The cells that form it are loosely held together without an underlying membrane, and the valves that regulate the flow through it have very little structured control. It is not altogether surprising that sometimes the lymph flow through the conjunctiva gets out of kilter and forms these little cyst like structures.

Most of the time we don’t know the exact cause of cysts on the conjunctiva. Inclusion cysts are a result of some epithelial cells getting separated off and isolated. This can be congenital (occurring at birth) or arise later in life. Eye surgery can induce this condition by displacing remnants of epithelial cells. Any type of chronic eye inflammation may also promote the normal epithelial cells to abnormally reproduce with a tendency to form cysts. This may be the reason why conjunctival cysts are sometimes associated with eye allergies. A condition referred to as Steven’s Johnson Syndrome also can result in inclusion cysts. Conjunctival lymphangiectasia represents some type of dysfunction of the lymph drainage system of the conjunctiva. Where things go wrong is mostly speculation at this time.

See Your Eye Doctor For Any New Bumps On Your Eyes

In our Fort Collins office, the majority of bumps we see are pinguecula. Pinguecula also form bumps over the scleral tissue but they are not fluid filled like cysts. Other more serious eye problems such as non pigmented melanomas must be ruled out when bumps appear on the eyes.  Don’t take chances with your eyes, see your optometrist right away for any new bumps or lumps on the surface of your eyes!

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