Phthisis Bulbi

Phthisis Bulbi

Phthisis bulbi is severe damage to the eyeball which is the final phase of eye damage. Phthisis bulbi can occur due to severe infections, eye injuries, inflammation, tumors, blood vessel disorders, or complications from eye surgery.

Phthisis bulbi is characterized by blurred vision, shrinking of the size of the eyeball, and loss of vision or blindness . These symptoms can appear suddenly or slowly.

Phthisis bulbi cannot be cured. However, there are treatments that can be done to treat various conditions or diseases that trigger phthisis bulbi.

Causes of Phthisis Bulbi

Phthisis bulbi can occur due to various conditions and diseases that attack the eye. Some of these conditions or diseases include:

  • Eye infections Severe eye
    infections, such as keratitis , endophthalmitis , and panophthalmitis, can cause phthisis bulbi if not treated properly.
  • Chronic
    retinal detachment Retinal detachment or retinal detachment can cause blood flow to the eye to be disrupted, so that eye tissue can be damaged or die. This condition can cause phthisis bulbi.
  • Complications due to eye
    surgery Every operation has the risk of causing side effects, including eye surgery. One of these complications is damage to the eye tissue which increases the risk of phthisis bulbi.
  • Chronic inflammation
    of the eye Long-term inflammation of the eye, such as uveitis , can cause eye disorders that can develop into phthisis bulbi.
  • Persistence hyperplastic primary vitreous ( PHPV ) PHPV is a genetic disorder characterized by typical symptoms such as white shadows on the cornea, small eyeballs and cataracts. This disease can increase the risk of phthisis bulbi in children.
  •  Eye tumors Eye
    tumors , eg retinoblastoma can cause phthisis bulbi. This type of eye tumor often occurs in children.
  • Eye injury Serious eye
    injury, for example from an accident, can cause damage to the eye. Wounds from these injuries can increase the risk of getting phthisis bulbi.

Symptoms of Phthisis Bulbi

As previously mentioned, phthisis bulbi is the final phase of eye damage. In this phase, phthisis bulbi sufferers may experience complaints in the form of:

  • Decreased or lost visual function
  • New blood vessels form in the iris
  • Calcium buildup in the eye
  • Pain in the eye
  • Eyes are sensitive to light
  • The size of the eyeball decreases
  • The white part of the eyeball (sclera) thickens

When to see a doctor                      

Check with your doctor immediately if you experience eye complaints, such as pain or sensitivity to light. Examination needs to be done immediately to find the cause of the complaint you are experiencing and determine the right treatment.

You are also advised to seek medical help if visual function decreases and complaints of eye pain get worse.

Diagnosis of phthisis bulbi  

To diagnose phthisis bulbi, the doctor will conduct questions and answers regarding the symptoms experienced by the patient, as well as a history of injuries and medical procedures to the patient's eye.

After that, the doctor will perform an eye examination to assess the patient's vision ability, as well as an ophthalmoscope examination , slit lamp , and examination of eye pressure with tonometry.

The doctor will also carry out the following supporting examinations to make a diagnosis:

  • CT scan or MRI of the eye, to see tumors and damage in the eye
  • Eye biopsy, to see changes and growth of cells and tissues in the eye

Treatment of phthisis bulbi

Treatment of phthisis bulbi aims to treat diseases that can trigger phthisis bulbi, relieve symptoms, and improve the appearance of damaged eyes. The handling method is:


Administering drugs, such as antibiotics aims to treat eye diseases caused by bacterial infections. Pain relievers may also be given to reduce pain.


Surgery is needed if the damage to the eye is severe. The types of surgery that can be done are removal of the eyeball (enucleation) and installation of an artificial eye to improve the appearance of the eye.

Phthisis bulbi complications

Complications of phthisis bulbi are permanent visual impairment or blindness. In addition, sufferers can also experience different complications, depending on the disease that causes phthisis bulbi.

Prevention of phthisis bulbi

The best way to prevent phthisis bulbi is to have regular eye exams when you have eye problems. In addition, you are advised to wear eye protection when doing activities that have a risk of causing eye injury, including when playing sports or driving.

You are also advised to wear ultraviolet light protection glasses  to prevent eye damage.

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