Conjunctival Chalasis

Conjunctival Chalasis, or CChal, is an eye condition that occurs when excess folds of loose conjunctiva hang over the lower eyelid. Symptoms occur because these folds affect the tear meniscus. Often, patients with conjunctival chalasis are misdiagnosed with dry eye, so it is important to report all symptoms. However, dry eye, allergies, and other issues of chronic inflammation frequently need to be ruled out prior to obtaining a CChal diagnosis.

What are the Symptoms?

  • Dry eye;
  • excess tears;
  • irritation;
  • pain;
  • feeling that something is in the eye;
  • ulcers.

Diagnosing CChal

Although some are misdiagnosed with dry eye, there are tests an eye doctor can give after dry eye is ruled out to determine if the problem is conjunctival chalasis. Another way to begin diagnosis is to establish whether or not there is eye pain. If there is eye pain, a simple test that can be performed is the “thumb test,” where the doctor pushes down on the exterior lower lid with her thumb in an area of pain for the patient. The patient then moves the eye back and forth in a way that would cause the bulbar conjunctiva to come together with the globe and the eyelid margin pinching together.

One of the reasons this problem is often overlooked is because it is often attributed to an age-related change that occurs in the conjunctival folds.

What are the treatments?

Depending on the discomfort and problems associated with the disorder, the treatments range from doing nothing to surgery. Prior to surgery, doctors may treat the condition with anti-inflammatory drugs.  If the problems persist, surgery may be necessary to remove unnecessary folds, which can be replaced with  smooth tear films.

If you think you might have symptoms of dry eye, or if you have been treated for dry eye without results, please contact Palm Beach Eye Center today, so we can evaluate your symptoms.