Swollen conjunctiva


A swollen conjunctiva, also called chemosis in medical jargon, is a glassy swelling of the conjunctiva.
Usually the whole conjunctiva is affected. A blister-like lifting of the conjunctiva from the dermis is often observed when there is swelling.

Reasons for the swollen conjunctiva can be inflammation of the conjunctiva (Conjunctivitis), Allergy, viral infection or mechanical irritation of the conjunctiva.


The conjunctival swelling is first and foremost at one Increase in vascular permeability traced back. Here, fluid from the small blood vessels of the conjunctiva enters the tissue, which then swells under the increasing volume.
The swelling can take place within a very short time.

The reasons for the increased permeability of the vessels are mostly Allergies or viral infections. Inflammation and other irritation can also lead to swelling of the conjunctiva.

Also at Contact lens wearers Contact lens care products can be poorly tolerated, which can also lead to irritation and subsequently to swollen conjunctiva.

More rarely, tumors in the eye socket can block the drainage pathways of the conjunctiva, which leads to a build-up of fluid and thus to swelling.

Also can Burns can reason for a Chemosis be.

Swollen conjunctiva from an allergy

A allergy describes an immune reaction, i.e. a defense of the body against harmless substances. This can e.g. Animal hair, pollen, or food be.
Although these substances do no harm, the body's immune system takes action against them. It comes to a local Immune reaction, in which certain substances turn against the structures of the allergen (e.g. pollen, animal hair).

At the point where the allergen causing the allergy has contact with the body, the vascular permeability is increased and it collects Immune cells on.
In this case e.g. Pollen in the eye, causing an immune reaction and, among other things, conjunctival swelling.

An allergic reaction mostly occurs within 30 minutes to the Mucous membranes and the eye on. Apart from the conjunctiva, other organs such as the respiratory tract or the skin can of course be affected.
An allergy can mainly be caused by that Avoid the allergens and Antiallergic drugs be treated.

Concomitant symptoms

The accompanying symptoms of swollen conjunctiva are primarily pain and itching.
Increased tearing and fluid in the eye can also be symptoms Chemosis be.
Visual disturbances can also occur. The visual disturbances are expressed in blurred vision or double vision.
It can happen that the eye cannot be closed completely because the swelling of the conjunctiva takes up a lot of space. The complete closing of the eye is "blocked".

The itching also causes the person concerned to rub their eyes more, which can make the swelling even worse.

However, the accompanying symptoms mentioned do not necessarily occur. It is also possible that there will be no discomfort.

Read more on the topic: Watery eyes


The diagnosis of a swollen conjunctiva is usually one Eye diagnosis of the ophthalmologist.
This means that the ophthalmologist can directly suspect a Chemosis can express.The use of a special slit lamp is helpful here, which allows the conjunctiva to be viewed better.

It should then be clarified whether Allergies are known, which can trigger the swelling of the conjunctiva in the form of an allergic reaction.
In addition, there should be irritation of the conjunctiva, for example through foreign body, be excluded.
If the swelling is triggered by a tumor that is blocking the drainage pathways of the conjunctiva, the diagnosis is more complicated and is mainly based on imaging procedures such as an MRI.

What to do with swollen conjunctiva

Since the swelling of the conjunctiva can have various causes, it is difficult to find a generally applicable measure to improve the symptoms.
In principle, the attempt is made to root cause to eliminate.

To counteract the swelling, you can cold compresses be placed on the eye for a few minutes. The cold causes the vessels to contract and the swelling goes down.
It is important not to rub the eye as this can exacerbate the symptoms.

If the cause is unclear, you should consult an ophthalmologist, who can then clarify why the swollen conjunctiva has occurred.

It can then, for example, be a Allergy test be performed. If the allergy is the reason for the swollen conjunctiva, it will be with antiallergic drugs treated. In addition, one should stay away from the source of the allergy triggers.


There is also homeopathic therapeutic approaches for a swollen conjunctiva. It is reported that Euphrasia C5, Globules from the Euphrasia officinalis (Common eyebright) can help with swollen conjunctiva.
There are also Euphrasia eye drops that can be used as a treatment method. The use of Apis mellifica (honey bee) is also common and is supposed to combat swelling.

Duration of the swelling

The duration of a swollen conjunctiva is difficult to narrow down as it depends very much on the cause. Is the reason one allergy, the swelling only stops when the person is no longer exposed to the allergy trigger.
However, if the cause is eliminated, the conjunctiva swells within a few days.
If the conjunctiva is still present after a few days, despite the elimination of the cause or if the cause is unclear, it is necessary to consult a doctor