Hypopyon is the condition of inflammation cell accumulation in the anterior chamber of the eye. This is the fluid which is made of leukocytes without any pathogens such as viruses, bacteria or fungi. It gravitates towards the bottom of the eye and creates a level at the lower part. It can be seen by naked eye. It can be followed by redness in the episclera and conjunctiva.
Pathophysiology of Hypopyon
As we mentioned above, the cause of hypopyon is not bacterial, viral or fungi invasion. It is an iris and anterior uvea inflammation which is presented like a yellow fluid in the bottom of the eye. Since this is the exudation of the fluid, it contains leukocytes which are accumulating in this area due to some toxins. The body reacts to the foreign substances and creates white blood cells which form a yellowish fluid. It goes through the blood vessels in the eye region. It can be described as a pus collection in the lower anterior chamber of the eye.
The affected parts are uvea and iris. The Iris is the ring which is colored and gives a color to the eye’s appearance. The uvea is the second part of the eye which extends to the back region of the eye all the way to the retina.
The white part of the eye is called sclera, while the protective layer that goes at the top is called conjunctiva. This membrane protects the eye from foreign objects and pathogens from entering the eye. It goes above the eye and onto the inside of the eyelids.
Common Causes of Hypopyon
The infection in the eye can be caused by several things. Here are some of the most common ones.
The corneal ulcer is formed as the cornea is being damaged by some chemicals or foreign objects. This can be done with microbes as well which can damage the protective layer and enter the eye. Trauma is another option. The inflammatory cell accumulation can cause vessel extravasation and lead to pus concentration in the anterior bottom of the eye.
Herpes Simplex or Herpes Zoster are viruses which can also attack the eye and cause inflammation due to lymphocytes accumulation since they are the most present cells in viral infections. Herpes is the virus causing chicken pox but can be a cause of conjunctivitis as well.
Lyme Disease and Toxocariasis
These diseases as well can cause hypopyon other than causing systemic symptoms.
The bacteria causing tuberculosis can also cause a hypopyon. It is Mycobacterium Tuberculosis and it usually causes respiratory infection but can cause changes in other parts of the body, thus the eye can be affected as well. It is called uveitis and it is the inflammation of the uvea.
Psoriatic Arthritis and Multiple Sclerosis
These types of diseases are caused by immune system and they are autoimmune diseases. It is not caused by any microbe invasion or another pathogen. It can be followed by hypopyon as well with the form of pus formation in the eye structures.
Since various causes can end up in hypopyon, the treatment depends on the cause of the inflammation. It can be treated with antibiotic creams, anti-tuberculosis drugs. The real cause should be treated, not just the consequence. Some complications can be visual impairment, cataract, glaucoma.