Conjunctival Lymphatic Cysts

I have had this condition a number of times myself, and have seen it many times in my patients, but there is not a heck of a lot of information on the web about them. When you Google "conjunctival lympatic cyst" you get some generic ophthalmological definition like this: "Lymphatic cysts of conjunctiva. These are common and usually occur due to dilatation of lymph spaces in the bulbar conjunctiva. Lymphangiectasis is characterized by a row of small cysts. Rarely, lymphangioma may occur as a single multilocular cyst." from this link: http://ophthalmologylife.blogspot.com/2012/04/cysts-of-conjunctiva.html But what does that really tell you? It doesn't tell me anything, except it's a cyst (fluid-filled pocket) made from lymph (clear liquid from the lymph system). Ok, well that's not very helpful. A conjunctival lymphatic cyst is a clear liquid "bubble" on the surface of your eye:
It is not known how they come about, but in my experience I think they are somewhat related to ocular allergy. I could be wrong on this, but that's just my opinion. If someone finds me some better data on the cause of them, please feel free to post. Here's what we know about them: - they're usually small, clear "liquid bubbles" on the surface of the eye - they are benign - they usually go away on their own - if they don't go away, they can easily be surgically excised/lanced - they can be annoying as all get-out They can feel like a foreign body (i.e. "something in your eye"). Most patients who feel them (and I can tell you this from personal experience) say that they feel like there's constantly an eyelash in your eye that you need to get out...but you obviously can't. I treat them with antihistamine eye drops, since I believe that they are at least peripherally related to ocular allergy. Most of them go away. Whether they go away on their own or are helped (sped up) somewhat by ocular antihistamine usage, I don't know. From my own personal experience, they go away in approx 2-4 weeks.

Comments

  1. I HAVE IT 4 MONTHS.DOCTOR IS GIVING DIFFERENT MEDICATION - DOES NOT WORK AND I CAN NOT FIND ANYTHING ANTICLERICAL, ONLY HYDROKORTIZON BUT IS NOT WORKING TOO

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  2. well, sometimes they have to be excised. you may have to visit an ophthalmologist for a minor in-office procedure to remove it

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  3. Hello,
    My 86 year old mother developed a couple of large lymphatic conjunctival cysts over the past month. I took her to an ophthalomologist today and he did not want to lance or drain them. He wants her to be seen by a cornea specialist and have a biopsy done.
    I am wondering if he is just being overly cautious and is this really necessary. They are filled with clear fluid just like the picture above but larger. Her eye is red in that area. She won't be seeing the cornea specialist for another month and I feel somewhat uneasy about her waiting that long although she is not bothered as much by it. What do you think I should do ?

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  4. Well usually "not bothered by it" = wait.

    You could get a second opinion. Maybe another OMD would remove them.

    Hard to say whether it "needs" to be biopsied or not. Judgement call

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  5. I found this while searching for possible causes of the weird fluid filled "blisters" Ive been developing on the whites of my eyes. They seem to come and go in conjunction with the(many)symptoms of my diagnosed autoimmune urticaria (hives, angioedema, swollen joints, etc) . Does it seem likely that it is yet another autoimmune symptom for me?

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  6. I found this while search for possible causes for the strange fluid filled "blisters" Ive been getting on the whites of my eyes. The picture here looks very much like them. Ive been diagnosed with Autoimmune Uricaria (hives,angioedema, joint swelling etc), and I'm wondering if this may be yet another autoimmune symptom. Since antihistamines are recommended, its seems like a good possibility(?) I already take large doses of antihistamines daily, along with Plaquinel, but the symptoms break through on occasion. This eye thing is new, and annoying though!

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  7. "Does it seem likely that it is yet another autoimmune symptom for me?" POSSIBLE, YES

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  8. I experienced this for the first time a week ago. Went to the opthamalogist and he popped it. Two days ago, my eye started feeling like there was something in it again. I had a follow up appointment today anyway, and it turns out, it's back, but smaller. He popped it again.

    A few hours later, and I start to feel like there's something in my eye again. I look in the mirror, and there's a blood filled little ball there! It wasn't there after he popped it this time. (There was a tiny bit of blood last time, but I didn't feel it.)

    Do you think I should just take a wait and see approach at this point?? Auto immune is curious, as I've been recently diagnosed with Psoriatic Arthritis.

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  9. If it was me ID wait and see, yes. Lymph cysts are annoying but benign. Not much you can really do about them except start the lengthy and expensive process of trying to diagnose possible immune disorders, and I personally don't feel that a few lymph cysts warrant that. Just MO

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  10. Thanks for your quick reply! Any advice on how to make it stop feeling so annoying? I'm on steroid drops for three more days, and I also have allergy drops.

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  11. I have had this for a couple of days and it is really irritating. since yesterday I have had a headache at the back of that eye and it does not want to go away. know its starting to affect my other eye and i am sitting with 2 watering eyes. I cant concentrate to long and i need to rub my eyes. is this normal?

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  12. a conjunctival lymph cyst does not cause "a headache at the back of the eye". do you have a clear lump on the surface of your eye that you can see in the mirror?

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  13. YES I DO AND ACCORDING TO HUBBY ITS GETTING BIGGER. THERE ARE 3 OF THEM

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  14. well, might be time to consider doing something about it then. maybe make an appt at an eye doc!

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  15. I just finished with a patient that is on many meds including Plaquenil, Metformin, and HBP meds that presented with those same lymph cysts for the second time in 6 months. The first time, he was helped by hot/cold compresses and a thicker "dry eye" comfort drop to reduce the mechanical sandy feel and that helped within a week. This time I added topical Lotemax ointment at night for 7 days and suggested a whole body massage to improve the systemic lymph flow in this 55 year old. I will let you know if that helped. He seemed to like the concept of improving lymph flow.

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  16. What about compresses for the eye conjunctival cyst...should one use hot compress or cold for this condition?

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  17. I was in my room painting and felt like something was in my eye (perhaps some paint splatted in my eye), so I got my eye wash first aid kit and rinsed multiple times. I looked in the mirror, and there they were, 4 of them side by side, little clear like bubbles. I noticed one a few weeks ago but didn't think anything of it because I am always rubbing my eyes and find what appears to be a speck of dandruff perhaps, or make up lashes. Anyway, I have a sense of humor, so on my way to the computer, I started singing, "Those tiny bubbles, in my eye, are they dangerous, am I going blind. These tiny bubbles, in my eyes, making me sad, I want to cry, (to the tone of "TINY BUBBLES!")Okay,so what I really wanted to say is thank you so VERY much for posting the information on this. I am calling an eye doctor in the morning. Woosh, what a scare.

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  18. I have had a clear bump on my eye for many years, at least since my teens (I'm 47). It never goes away and usually doesn't bother me. Sometimes, I suddenly feel it and it's very annoying. Today, not only can I feel it but it feels like something oozes out of it across my eye, easing the feeling of it being there, and it fills up again and becomes annoying again. Is it possible for these cysts to do this? I don't even know what to do or who to see for this but I'd sure like it to go away!

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    1. You should have that looked at. That's unusual. I guess anything is possible but no they don't usually fill, drain, refill quickly.

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  19. Just noticed I had one yesterday. I've been having problems with my allergies for some months now and recently got a cold which also settled in my eye. This made even more mucus come out of my eye. I've been putting Alaway seems to be helping the eye allergy but would it help with this Lymphatic cyst and can I still wear my contacts?

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    1. yes, Alaway will likely help. yes it's probably ok to wear a contact lens while you have a lymphatic cyst UNLESS the contact lens is TOUCHING the cyst

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  20. Doc, I've had a lymphatic cyst on my eye for over 2 years now. I had it lanced by and OD once about a year ago and it came back! He had recommended lubricated eye drops like Systane. I'm going try antihistamine drops going forward but am thinking about getting it lanced for a second time. Is it safe to have the procedure done a second time? Thanks in advance for your advice.

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  21. Hi Doc,

    I had a cyst on my eye drained a year ago and it quickly returned within about 4 weeks. I had been using Systane lubricating drops. I will try antihistamine drops but am considering having the procedure done again. Is safe to have the procedure done for a second time. Have you heard of a cyst coming back? Thanks for your advice.

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  22. yes it is safe to have that procedure done repeatedly.

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  23. I am really happy to have found this blog because I have a few questions as well and like you mentioned, there is very little information on this minor condition online. This cyst is so annoying! I have been using Visine fake drops and it helps for a few hours making the feeling of it being in my eye go away. There's no pain, or redness, just a clear bump. I was wondering if it was ok/safe for me to still wear makeup or my contacts? Or should I wait 2-4 weeks or more until it goes away? Thank you!

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  24. Sorry I am not very tech-savvy! I am just posting this extra post to make sure I am notified once I get a reply. Have a great day! Thanks again.

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  25. Yes safe to wear makeup and contacts

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  26. My husband came home tonight (he is a Christian and a rocker, too....had a gig with his band tonight) with a "bubble on his eyeball" that looks like this picture. We're concerned because he, just a couple of weeks ago, was diagnosed with MRSA in his nostril. He took a round of oral antiobitics and is still using a antibiotic ointment. Should we be concerned that these are related?

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  27. Great post.
    I have had an eye cyst surgery 2 days ago and it still hurts a bit when I blink. Is this normal?
    Luckily I do not have much surgeries done so I do not have much experience with after surgery issues.
    Thank you!

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  28. My father recently developed the same condition,
    He visited an opthalmologist who gave him FLUROMETHOLONE eyes drops.
    FML (Allergan)
    Can you please list down the causes of the disease?

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  29. I have recently developed this "cyst" on the eyeball and I am wondering if it could be a symtom of Lupus, which I have been diagnosed with years ago or could it be from a new Lupus medication I just started called Methotrexate and Chloroquine?

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  30. My 8 year old had a lensectomy/vitrectomy in both his eyes do to Subluxation of his lenses caused by a genetic metabolic disease called Homocystinuria. He has developed one of these cysts on his right eye. His Opthamologist said it is fine and should go away but I noticed its getting bigger. He doesn't see his Opthamologist till June....should I wait or get it seen to now? Thank you!

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  31. I've just noticed the same problem in my right eye. I have lots of allergy issues, both regular and with my eyes. I also have p.c.o.s.. I'm disabled and take several meds. Just wondering if the p.c.o.s. Has something to do with it.

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  32. i just had one of these for almost a week, very small and very irritating..i went and got some antihistamine eyedrops (ketotifin fumarate). i could see the cyst shrink immediately and a couple of hours later it was gone! thank you so much for the helpful advice here. :)

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  33. Ok so about 3 weeks ago it happened to me I thought something flew into my eye while I was driving.After some rubbing the sensation went away. After looking in the mirror i noticed a series of small clear bumps on the white of my eye (not the side of my nose) I made an emergency eye appointment for the next morning and the Eye Dr. prescribed me the same drops used for eye surgery, it has NASID in it. The pharmacy didn't have it and they had to order it so a week later by the time the prescription was filled my eye seemed fine. Then 2 weeks after the sensation suddenly came back and it felt like something flew in my eye again! I looked at my eye and the bumps that went away were now worse than the first time! So i picked up the drops and put one in the affected eye. I will let you know what happens, but now im scared that something is not constantly flying into my eye and causing this but maybe something else internally.... Will keep you updated and my next step is to rest the eye, hopefully it works with the drops....

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  34. Thanks so much for sharing your story and giving us details, Doc. You gave me more answers in your one page story than I've found anywhere else. For the record, I'm 58 and started with a few clear cysts in a line on the outside of one eye about 2 weeks ago. I have no known illnesses and not on any medications. I have a high tolerance to pain/annoyances so it's no big deal to wait it out, but it seemed logical to carefully use a fine sterile needle to pop the larger cyst (obviously not aiming straight on but coming from the side). While it removed the discomfort for several hours, it did come back. I'll likely do it again but try it in conjunction with some antihistamine drops.

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  35. I have been having these cysts form on my eyes for some time now. I also have a immune disorder called hypogammaglobulinemia. I wondered if that could have something to do with why I keep getting these annoying things?

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  36. Hi sir . I am having this problem since 20 days back . These cyst dont seem to go . I have taken antibiotic medicines that my doctor gave me but still there is a cyst growing now . Help ?

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    1. antibiotics don't work...if it keeps growing you will need excision

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  37. My wife has had allergic conjunctivitis for almost a year now. She wakes up with the little bubbles every morning, then they slowly go away. She's tried antihistamines and steroidal drops for the past two months with no effect. She's been trying to avoid and likely allergens. Any ideas as to why they would "grow" during the night while sleeping?

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    1. no explanation as to why they occur at night. what steroid has she tried? I MUCH MUCH MUCH prefer the new gel form of Lotemax for this. no pred, no FML, no dex...

      I had a convo with an OD the other day who believes these are from a virus. I don't believe that, however, as I see a big uptick of them in the springtime... plus they go along with the itching.

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  38. I'm 5-days new into this for the 1st time at age 40. My bubble also grows during the night and depletes during the day. I also can relate to the headache-like pain behind the eye, especially with quick eye movement. Until today, motrin and zyrtec were doing a good job eliminating the pain. My eye dr has prescribed me steroid drops, and also commented i have slight cornea degeneration where the blister-bubble is. I am unaware of having any allergies, however if there is an autoimmune element, I do have hashimotos. Otherwise I'm assuming i didn't remove my eye makeup sufficiently. I'm clueless. But I want to be sure to fix and prevent this! I miss my contacts!! And honestly, it's freaky & concerning to have any issues with an eyeball!

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  39. Hi princeidoc,
    I was wondering if I am having the same thing you described, I did have a clear bump on white of my eye but it "comes and go" almost everyday. It has been about a week since I first discovered this one (I have had bumps before but much smaller and did not act like this). Every morning it would be there, and then as the day pass it would go smaller...bigger... and then perhaps disappear... Just when I feel relief, there it is again in the morning...
    Please kindly advise if this is "normal" for Conjunctival Lymphatic Cysts? Or perhaps I am actually having a different problem?
    Thank you for your kind attention. Look froward to hearing from you soon.

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    1. most cysts do not come and go that quickly. this could be just conjunctival edema or "loose" conjunctiva. cysts are usually spherical or lobulated (lumpy with spheres). conjunctival edema would be more amorphous (shapeless). none of these are alarming, tho!

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  40. I see! Thank you Michael Prince!!
    I agree, it might be conjunctival edema because it is towards the "shapeless" side. Would you recommend a check up? Or perhaps it will go away by itself? This one sounds more serious than a cysts... :(

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    1. nah, neither of those are serious. try some OTC allergy eye drops like Alaway or Zaditor. if that doesn't give you some relief, then yes go get an exam. no hurry tho, not emergent

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  41. Got it. It was very helpful and kind of you. Thanks so much! :)

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  42. Hi All, I stumbled on this website as I was having a small bubble on my eye white on my left eye closer to my nose side. It's like a blister. I went to 2 eye doctors who used a slit lamp and told me my eyes are good and they said they couldn't see the bubble ! What idiots ! Even the GP I went to before them, told me he could see it even without any magnifier ! Anyway, I met my customer last week and he insisted that I try out his just opened bottle of Alcon antihistamine eye drops called Naphcon-A. I reluctantly agreed. 3 drops and 3 mins later, wow ! The bubble has subsided and the redness gone !!!! I was so happy and this bubble has been with me for 4-6 weeks. So I bought a bottle over the pharmacy and for 2-3 days, I used it 3-4 times a day, just one to two drops each time ! It's my 4th day and I am happy to say the bubble has flattened out !!!! Thus, no more irritation means no more redness. PLEASE TRY THIS. IT REALLY WORKS. I almost wanted to get it landed or go for an operation, and I am so happy I met my friend. Whoever has good results please post me and encourage the rest too ! Thanks for reading. Andrew, Singapore

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  43. I've been getting cysts in my eye since just before Christmas. I've tried systane lubricant eye drops in case my eyes were too dry and they help with irritation but still takes the cyst up to a week to go away. Then almost as soon as I get rid of one I get another one. I finally tried some Claritin and within two days my eyes were bright white again instead of bloodshot with a cyst. Then I forgot to take the Claritin one day and now I've got another. I do think they are allergy related because I've been stuffy since Thanksgiving. I just wish they would go away and not come back.

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  44. I've had a small, clear bubble on the upper part of the white part of my left eye since 2010 or so. At first, it felt itchy and like there was something in my eye, but now I can't feel it at all. I actually forgot all about it until I went to get new glasses, (I have strabismus with a previous childhood eye surgery at the age of three on that same eye), and opted for the $25 eye x-ray and you could clearly see the shape of the bubble poking up like a little hill from the rest of the smooth eye surface. But, since the eye doctor didn't mention it I figure it's nothing to worry too much about.

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  45. probably not anything to worry about, although usually the photos you could pay extra for would be Optos images which are retinal scans...not anything that would be visible to you on the outside of your eye...

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  46. I have had a conjunctival cyst on my eye for over 4 months now, I have been to 4 different eye doctors. First I was on systane for dry eye, then I was put on lotamax but my eye pressure is up to 25. I took an antibiotic and now I have a second cyst forming on the same eye on the opposite side. They are worse at night, very itch and inflammed, but I am allegic to NSAIDS. I am taking over the counter alaway eye drops now, but this is very irritating. I am to see an eye surgeon on the 6th, this forum is very helpful and I am sharing all the same experiences.

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  47. Saw for the first time last week. Treated with PredForte and it went away within 2 days FYI

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    1. wish they would all go away quickly like that with a simple/available drug, but unfortunately they don't

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  48. hello - i have a conjunctival inclusion cyst that I will be getting excised later in the month? It is quite small. Will I have a scar or red spot there after excision?

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