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A cyst is a fluid-filled sac. They can be formed anywhere in the body and are usually indicative of an underlying issue. Our eyes are particularly delicate structures that are exposed to the external environment without much protection for most of the day, so it is not uncommon to find minor irritants or foreign bodies getting entangled in them and causing problems.

What Is A Conjunctival Cyst?

It is, in most cases, a harmless clear/whitish transparent sac that is formed on the conjunctiva of the eye. It is not very painful to the patient although it can be irritating as it gives the constant feeling of having something in the eye. The cyst can be difficult to see with the naked eye, and so a patient might just complain of an uncomfortable feeling in the eye without actually pointing to a cyst.

Symptoms:

- Itching

- Redness

- Excessive watering of the eye

- Dryness of the eye

- The growth usually lasts for a few days and then disappears, however it can reappear on its own.

- The growth is clear/whitish in appearance

Causes:

A conjunctival cyst can be caused as reaction to an allergy, due to a minor infection, or because of a foreign body stuck in the eye. Most likely, as a result of either these conditions, the patient ends up rubbing the clear portion of the eye/conjunctiva and the resultant damage to the conjunctiva can cause an overgrowth of the cells in that area. Other causes might also include an accumulation of tear products in the eye.

Irrespective of the cause, however, the treatment for a conjunctival cyst remains the same.

Treatment

Most doctors will advise a wait and see approach towards the conjunctival cyst in the beginning. This is because a large number of them resolve on their own without any trouble to the patient. If the cyst continues to grow in size then certain steroid medication in the form of eye drops might be prescribed to bring down the size of the conjunctival cyst. These eye drops will also help in case an allergic reaction has been suspected.

Again, a wait and see approach will be the way to go before attempting to puncture or surgically incise the cyst.

If the cyst continues to persist and/or grows in size then the doctor will puncture the cyst under local anesthesia. This is a painless procedure which does not take long at all. There is some amount of bleeding that is to be associated with the procedure, however nothing too much. The wide availability of lasers and their precision in use makes them the tool of choice for making incisions as well as the removal of cysts from the eye. A few people have complained of some pain and discomfort during the healing of the cyst and this will be managed by over the counter pain medication and anti inflammatory drugs. There is a chance of recurrence of this cyst even after surgical removal. If it happens then the same pattern of treatment will follow.

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