Ocular Jellyfish Stings

David B. Glasser, M. Joyce Noell, Joseph W. Burnett, Sajeev S. Kathuria, Merlyn M. Rodrigues

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Corneal stings from the sea nettle (Chrysaora quinquecirrha) indigenous to the Chesapeake Bay are usually painful but self-limited injuries, with resolution in 24 to 48 hours. Methods: Five patients who developed unusually severe and prolonged iritis and intraocular pressure elevation after receiving corneal sea nettle stings were followed for 2 to 4 years. Results: Decreased visual acuity, iritis, and increased intraocular pressure (32 to 48 mmHg) were noted in all cases. Iritis responded to topical corticosteroids and resolved within 8 weeks. Elevated intraocular pressure responded to topical beta blockers and oral carbonic anhydrase inhibitors. Mydriasis (4 of 5 cases), decreased accommodation (2 of 5 cases), peripheral anterior synechiae (2 of 5 cases), and iris transillumination defects (3 of 5 cases) also were noted. Mydriasis and decreased accommodation persisted for 5 months in 1 case and for more than 2 years in another. One patient has chronic unilateral glaucoma. Visual acuity returned to normal in all cases. Conclusions: The precise relationship between sea nettle venom and the observed clinical responses is not known. Corneal jellyfish stings usually produce a brief and selflimited reaction, but they do have the potential for long-term sequelae.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1414-1418
Number of pages5
Issue number9
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology

Cite this

Glasser, D. B., Noell, M. J., Burnett, J. W., Kathuria, S. S., & Rodrigues, M. M. (1992). Ocular Jellyfish Stings. Ophthalmology, 99(9), 1414-1418. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0161-6420(92)31800-7