Conjunctivitis general

Author: Deepali Jain, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 29 May 2018, last major update September 2013

Copyright: (c) 2004-2018, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.

PubMed Search: Conjunctivitis [title] review[ptyp]

Cite this page: Jain, D. Conjunctiva: conjunctivitis general. PathologyOutlines.com website. http://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/eyeconjunctivitisgeneral.html. Accessed November 21st, 2018.
Definition / general
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Bulbar or palpebral; unilateral or bilateral
  • Acute (less than 4 weeks) or chronic; transmitted by direct contact
  • Caused by numerous infectious or noninfectious agents or allergic
  • Reduction in surface mucin causes aqueous portion of tears to not adhere to corneal epithelium, leading to dry eye and corneal ulceration
Clinical features
  • Itching, redness, chemosis, exudation and drainage; photophobia, decreased visual acuity, pain
  • Clinical diagnosis; no testing is usually necessary
  • Treated medically depending upon etiology; may take 30 days for recovery (Cornea 2007;26:778)
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Usually not biopsied except as scrapings or smears
  • Reduction in goblet cells; reduction in surface mucin
  • Acute inflammation of conjunctival epithelium and substantia propria with exudate and edema (JAAPA 2013;26:60)