• Why Would Sclera Wrinkle and Fold?


    Question:

    Why would the sclera wrinkle and fold?


    Answer:

    The conjunctiva and episclera are thin, transparent membranes that cover the sclera (the white coating of the eyeball). While the sclera does not wrinkle or fold, the overlying membranes can enlarge and contract in response to inflammation and swelling. If after swelling has resolved, the membranes do not return to their original tightened state, they form folds and wrinkles. This condition, known as conjunctivochalasis, can cause excessive tearing, irritation, and redness of the surface of the eye because the lids do not close smoothly over the tissue. These excessive membranes can be surgically removed if needed.


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