Conjunctival Concretions in Eye + 7 Chronic Conjunctivitis Treatments
What is a Conjunctival Concretion?
Many of you reading this will have never heard of conjunctival concretions, so today we’ll shed a little light on this subject. A conjunctival concretion is nothing more than a calcified deposit that has formed within the palpebral conjunctiva, which covers the inside of the eyelids. The majority of patients will have no symptoms from this, because most concretions are small (less than 1mm). However, they can sometimes be large enough to rub against the bulbar conjunctiva covering the front of the eyeball. Some may even rub against the cornea every time you blink.
Concretions look like small white or yellow deposits underneath the eyelids. These deposits consist of protein, debris, epithelial cells, and mucin, and they are most common in those with inflammation. Another common cause of concretions is simply aging.
For the majority of people, concretions do not need to be treated. However, they can be surgically removed if they become large and bothersome. There is also some evidence to show that those with concretions also tend to suffer from dry eye disease or meibomian gland dysfunction. This makes sense, since inflammation plays a large role in these conditions, just like with concretions.
What is Chronic Conjunctivitis?
Conjunctivitis is simply any inflammation of the conjunctiva, which covers the front of the eyeball and inside of the eyelids. Most commonly, conjunctivitis is caused by either allergies, viruses, or bacteria. When you have constant red, irritated eyes, it could mean that you’re suffering from chronic conjunctivitis.
Symptoms you may experience with chronic conjunctivitis include:
Red eyes and/or eyelids
Watery or mucus discharge
Irritation or burning of the eyes
Swelling of the conjunctiva
Each of these conditions (allergic, bacterial, and viral) has a separate treatment protocol, but there are a few basic remedies that can often help prevent these conditions in the first place. In addition, these seven tips may also help prevent conjunctival concretions since they can help to decrease inflammation of the eyes.
7 Chronic Conjunctivitis and Concretions Treatments
1. Wash your hands
Why is this one on the list? It’s here and at #1 because bacteria and viruses can easily spread with a lack of hygiene. You touch your face hundreds of times per day, and if you’re not keeping your hands clean it could be problematic for you. If you’re someone who touches their face or rubs their eyes a lot, this is especially important. Make sure you’re washing your hands every time you use the restroom, before and after you eat, and after being out and about. Wash for 20 seconds, roughly the time it takes to sing happy birthday to yourself.
2. Thoroughly remove your makeup
A lot of the makeup you’re using contains chemicals that shouldn’t be around the eyes, and makeup is a breeding ground for bacteria. If you’re someone who doesn’t remove their makeup at night, or you haven’t quite figured out how to remove it completely, this can be problematic. Makeup that is left on begins to accumulate bacteria, leading to increased inflammation as well as the risk for conjunctivitis and concretions. We recommend using an oil-based eye makeup removerbecause these contain less chemicals and also do a great job thoroughly removing makeup. Learn more about makeup chemicals to avoid here.
3. Wash your face with tea tree oil soap
We love tea tree oil soap because tea tree essential oil contains anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that make it great for conditions of the skin (this includes your eyelids). This oil can be toxic when ingested and is too strong to use without a carrier oil, so we recommend purchasing a prepared product containing it. We love a foaming tea tree face wash used morning and evening for best results. Tea tree oil has also been shown to be great for killing demodex eyelash mites, a big contributor to blepharitis and meibomian gland dysfunction.
4. Try the NuLids device
When bacteria become overpopulated, they form biofilm. This substance is tough to penetrate and acts like a wall around bacteria, shielding it from outside harm. Biofilm also releases toxins which contribute to inflammation. While eyelid hygiene alone can help, it will not fully penetrate biofilm. We need to mechanically remove it one of a few ways. Eyelid debridement with the BlephEx device in your eye doctor’s office is a great way to do this. In addition, the NuLids devicecan be used nightly at home to accomplish the same goal. We recommend using a nighttime ointment with the device and using it once daily for removal of biofilm.
5. Use a warm compress mask
After using the NuLids device to debride the eyelids, use a warm compress eye mask to heat up the oil within the meibomian glands. These tiny glands in your eyelids can become clogged with hardened, stagnant oil, and warming the eyelids can help release this oil into the tear film where it should be. The oily layer of the tears is responsible for preventing tear evaporation and it also helps to keep the eyes lubricated and comfortable.
6. Cleanse your eyelids
The next step is eyelids cleansing. We love hypochlorous acid because this substance is made naturally by the body to combat microorganisms. It’s also incredibly gentle and contains fewer ingredients than many of the eyelid scrubs on the market. Fewer ingredients often means less irritation for those with sensitive eyes and eyelids. Simply spray the solution onto your closed eyelids, rub it in, and let it dry. Using this twice daily will help ensure clean eyelids.
7. Use clean towels and washcloths daily
For those with chronic conjunctivitis, it’s important to do your laundry regularly and ensure that you’re using clean towels and washcloths daily. Not doing so may mean transferring around bacteria and viruses that you could be preventing. This might be a bit of a hassle, but it’s worth the effort if you suffer from chronic conditions like this.
The inflammation that occurs with chronic conjunctivitis and conjunctival concretions can be burdensome. It can take a toll on your life, but we know that with the strategies above, you can begin to take control.