Gas Bubble in Eye after Cataract Surgery Recovery and Side Effects

Here are the details on bubble in eye including the causes, types, bubble in eye vision, gas bubble in eye after cataract surgery recovery and the possible side effects.

Bubble in Eye

A bubble in eye may appear as a clear or colored bump or blister in the eye. Where this does not manifest in addition to other symptoms, the bubble is mostly a cosmetic concern as opposed to being a health concern. These tend to go away on their own without having to make any intervention.

However, there are instances in which a bubble in eye may affect more that your look. If it affects your vision, is itchy, painful or uncomfortable in anyway, an optician should have a look at it to identify the cause and plausible treatment. There are two types of bubbles in the eye


These are the most common kind of bumps encountered in the eye. They could be colorless, white, gray or yellow. On the white part of the eye known as the sclera is a transparent mucous membrane known as the conjunctiva. When there is degeneration of the collagen fibers in the conjunctiva, there is a slow growth referred to as pinguecula.

According to the New York Times, a pinguecula is a common non-cancerous growth that forms on the conjunctiva. This growth tends to be slightly raised from the sclera’s surface. Although the exact cause of this is not known, eye irritation and long term exposure to sunlight are suspected to have a role in their formation. As such people that spend a lot of time outdoors and welders face this as a job related risk.

A pengueculum occurs on the conjunctiva close to the cornea as a tiny yellowish bubble. Though it is possible for it to be located on either side of the cornea, it is most common on the nasal side. With time, this bubble may increase in size.

This bump is usually made up of fat, calcium and protein. In most cases, no treatment is needed for this. Using artificial tears can help keep the eyes moist and help keep inflammation at bay. In rare circumstances, the bubble may be remove for comfort or cosmetic reasons.


On the other hand, a pterygium is a growth of fleshy tissue. This may begin of as a pinguecula and grow large to covering part of the cornea. In such cases, it may interfere with vision. In both cases, these bubbles in eyes are triggered by dry eyes. Other causative agents include dust, wind and sunlight.

Other Causes of Bubble in Eye

Conjunctival Cyst

A cyst is normally a fluid filled sac. A conjunctival cyst is a clear or whitish transparent sac that forms on the conjunctiva making it appear like a bubble in eye. The sac is harmless, painless but could be uncomfortable especialy when it rubs on the inside walls of the eyelids. In most cases, a cyst may not be visible to the naked eye and the only indicator of its presence may be the uncomfortable feeling. With a cyst, other additional symptoms include itching, redness, eye dryness and excessive watering.

Although this kind of bubble in eye only lasts a few days, it is possible for recurrence. Some of the causes of conjunctival cyst include allergic reactions, presence of foreign bodies, minor eye infections. When these manifest, there is a likely hood of rubbing the eyes. This is followed by an overgrowth of cells in the area resulting in the cyst. This can be likened to blistering of the feet when exposed to excessive friction.

When dealing with this, the doctor is likely to advise the patient to wait and see if it goes away on its own. If the cyst continues to grow, steroid eye drops may be offered to shrink the size of the conjunctiva cyst. If this does not solve the problem, surgical incision or puncturing of the cyst may be recommended.

Bubbles in Eye Vision

When you see bubbles in your eye vision, these are most likely eye floaters. These are usually part of aging. Eye floaters are tiny specks seen in the field of vision especially when a person looks into light colored areas such as a white wall or blue sky. They form in the vitreous humour (the clear jelly like substance) inside the eyeball.

The eye floater are suspended in the vitrous humor and will therefore move when the eyeball moves. Floaters may be different in shape and could appear as clear little eye bubbles, tiny flecks or spots or even as webs or threads.

Bubble in Eye after Cataract Surgery      

In some cases, a bubble in eye after cataract surgery is placed. According to, injecting an air bubble at the end of sutureless cataract surgery is done in order to prevent the inflow of ocular surface fluid.

During a vitrectomy to fix retinal detachment, the vitreous gel which usually is the cause of the detachment through its pulling on the retina is removed and replaced with gas bubble. Rarely an oil bubble may be used.  Basically, the air bubble helps to prevent leakage of fluid from the point of surgery as it makes the eye air tight and keep the retina in place.

When an air bubble is placed, it aids in stopping the fluid from leaking. It is also possible for air or gas bubbles to be used during a retinal detachment surgery. Where the inner layer of the cornea to detach. As a result, cells attached to it and which are responsible for pumping out water are not in a position to do so. This causes swelling. Air bubbles may be used to push back and reattach the layer.

Gas Bubble in Eye Recovery Time

Where a bubble in eye is placed after treatment, you may be advised to hold your head in special positions. It is also recommended not to travel in high altitudes or fly airplanes since an increase in altitude results in an increase in pressure which is bad for the eye.

According to American Academy of Ophthalmology (, 80 to 90 percent of retinal detachment surgeries are usually successful. At times, a second surgery may be necessary while some detachments cannot be fixed.

Once surgery has been done, vision will continually improve in the coming months and the bubble in eye will be absorbed and replaced by eye fluids.

Gas Bubble in Eye Breaking Up

Soon after the surgery, you will see a large bubble in eye vision. In most cases, this usually breaks up into two or more pieces with time. If you notice a gas bubble in eye breaking up, it is quite normal. With time they will disappear. With the disappearance of the bubbles should come clearer vision. If, however, you realise the opposite happening and the bubble appears to be growing bigger, see your doctor as this could be indicative of further retinal detachment.

Gas Bubble in Eye Side Effects

Their use in treatment does not come without side effects. Once you have a gas bubble in eye, the vision through it is quite poor. The affected eye will only see movement. Despite the gas bubble dissolving from bottom to top, the patient under treatment sees the opposite. It is therefore common for recovering patients to describe the appearance of a black line that migrates downwards slowly, beginning from the top of the visual field towards its bottom.

List of References Pinguecula Conjunctival Cyst


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