Symblepharon is an external eye finding in which an adhesion forms between the palpebral conjunctiva and bulbar conjunctiva (1). There are many causes of symblepharon, which is typically a response to trauma or inflammation. In no particular order, here are some of those causes:
- Ocular cicatricial pemphigoid
- Pseudopemphigoid conditions
- Stevens-Johnson syndrome
- Conjunctival burns
- Atopic keratoconjunctivitis
- Porphyria cutanea tarda
- Epidemic keratoconjunctivitis
- Xeroderma pigmentosum
- Squamous papilloma of the conjunctiva
If anyone has a good mnemonic to help remember these causes, let us know! If you're studying for the OKAP or board exams, a sample question may look like this:
- Which of the following causes the condition shown?
A. Exposure keratopathy
B. Peripheral ulcerative keratitis
C. Porphyria cutanea tarda
D. Vitamin A deficiency
The answer, of course, is C. (Image credit: mrcophth.com)
References and Additional Reading
- Basic and Clinical Science Course, Section 8: External Disease and Cornea. American Academy of Ophthalmology, 2017-2018 edition.
Do you have any other hints to help remember causes of symblepharon? Did we leave anything out? Do you have suggestions or ideas for other topics? Leave a comment or contact us!