Conjunctival chemosis: A case series of systemic causes
Keywords:conjunctival chemosis, periorbital edema, cutaneous, superior vena cava syndrome, hypervolemia
Conjunctival chemosis is a common ophthalmic finding that presents with a wide range of severity, symptoms, signs, and underlying etiologies. Although most cases of conjunctival chemosis are ocular in nature (allergy, infection, irritation), atypical presentations such as dusky conjunctival hue, corkscrew conjunctival veins, and periorbital edema, should prompt further investigation for a systemic cause. In atypical cases, reviewing the patient’s medical history and medications, physically examining and auscultating the patient’s heart and lungs, and obtaining vitals (i.e. blood pressure, pulse, weight), are crucial parts of the investigation for a potential systemic source. This article reviews systemic causes for conjunctival chemosis and provides case examples to demonstrate evaluative and management techniques for optometrists to make a distinction between ocular and systemic conjunctival chemosis.