Conjunctivitis and GPC

There is an evident reaction individuals might experience once a foreign item is introduced to the inner eyelid tissues. It is likely for a patient who utilizes ocular prosthetics to encounter these effects and concerns. One of the possible side effects from ocular prosthetics may be conjunctivitis or GPC, “Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis”. GPC is an irritation and inflammation of the inner eyelid tissues, much like side effects from allergies that affect the inner eyelid tissues.

When the conjunctiva of the inner eyelid tissues is constantly in contact with the prosthetic eye, this causes “mechanical micro trauma to the inner eyelid tissue” which will eventually lead to the inflammation of the socket if not properly treated. Other symptoms include itching and red eyes, and more severe symptoms include conjunctival mucous discharge, erythema, bleeding, as well as swelling of the eyes.  The name giant papillae originates from the presence of bumps on the socket tissue lining. These appear as bubble-like bumps that may further grow and produce more friction when rubbed against the inner eyelid tissues. The enlarged papillae may then grow on the conjunctiva of the inner eyelid tissues.

Common causes for GPC are typically from lack of efficient hygiene. For patients’ with ocular prosthetics, this would mean the patient has not been properly and regularly following up with cleaning, protein extraction, and polishing the prosthetic eye. Further aggravation of GPC is caused by the gradual build up of protein deposits. If GPC is left untreated, it may lead to an intensified case of infections in or around the eyes and inner eyelid tissues that would make the processes of treating GPC more difficult. Contact lenses may also cause giant papillary conjunctivitis, however ocular prosthetic GPC is a bit more difficult to fully treat.

It is important to assess the individual’s overall medical history and conditions to properly treat ocular prosthetic GPC. Once the patient’s past medical history has been evaluated, the patient’s GPC will then be treated according to their specific medical background, reactions they may be prone to and sensitivity levels. This will significantly help determine if the patient has external factors that may accelerate or aggravate their GPC.

As individuals experience changes in orbital tissue size and texture, it is important to renew prosthetics that will accommodate these changes. New ocular prosthetics will also reinforce the importance of efficient hygiene, encouraging patients’ to keep the prosthetics clean, as well as attentiveness and proper follow-ups with your Ocularist.