Mucus Fishing Syndrome

James P McCulley, M. B. Moore, A. Y. Matoba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Twenty-five patients are described with a variety of external ocular diseases including keratoconjunctivitis sicca, blepharitis, and allergic conjunctivitis, who presented with persistence of symptoms of irritation, foreign body sensation, and apparent excessive mucus production, with mild conjunctival inflammation despite appropriate treatment of the underlying disease. All patients were found to have evidence of trauma to the conjunctival epithelium due to mechanical removal of the excess mucus from the surface of the globe or inferior cul-de-sac. The surface irritation created by the mechanical damage led to a further increase in mucus production, creating a cycle that we have termed mucus fishing syndrome. Cessation of this behavior coupled with ongoing therapy of the underlying disease led to resolution of signs and symptoms in all patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1262-1265
Number of pages4
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1985


  • blepharitis
  • conjunctival epithelium
  • keratoconjunctivitis sicca
  • mucus
  • ocular surface disease
  • rose bengal
  • vital stain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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