Conjunctivochalasis looks like a made up word, but it a real condition of the eye. It occurs when the tissue (bulbar conjunctiva) covering the white of the eye (sclera) becomes loose. It can cause a foreign body sensation, irritation, blurriness and watery eyes. Coincidentally, these are some of the most common symptoms of dry eye. Loose conjunctiva is relatively common in older individuals, but can occur in people with a history of contact lens wear, ocular allergy, trauma or conditions with chronic inflammation. Not only does conjunctivochalasis cause foreign body sensation, it prevents normal tear film spreading and can impede proper tear flow and drainage. This leads to the tears pooling and can worsen inflammation and allergies.
Surgical intervention can include the removal of the extra tissue by excision or fixing the excess conjunctiva to the eye globe. An amniotic membrane may also be used to aid healing. Symptom improvement with resection procedures seem to be largely successful. If surgery seems premature, the use of non-preserved tears can help reduce the stagnant tears and improve tear turnover. Often the excess tears spill over the eyelids because of the poor flow, so adding tears seems counter-intuitive. If there is inflammation and/or allergies, these conditions should be treated to reduce irritants to the tissue.