Conjunctivitis general

Topic Completed: 1 September 2013

Minor changes: 27 March 2019

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PubMed Search: Conjunctivitis [title] review[ptyp]

Deepali Jain, M.D.
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Cite this page: Jain D. Conjunctiva: conjunctivitis general. PathologyOutlines.com website. https://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/eyeconjunctivitisgeneral.html. Accessed June 7th, 2020.
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)
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