ophthalmia(redirected from catarrhal ophthalmia)
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a predominantly noninfectious inflammation of the membranes of the eye. Inflammations may arise in the conjunctiva and the cornea under the action of certain types of radiation, for example, electricity, which causes electric ophthalmia in welders and cinematographers, and reflected light, which causes snow blindness in arctic explorers and mountain climbers who fail to use protective goggles. Inflammations also occur when foreign bodies enter the eye.
“Ophthalmia” also refers to sympathetic irritations of the eye, which arise in one eye with penetrating wounds of the other eye, and to metastatic ophthalmia—a purulent inflammation that originates in a distant inflammatory focus. Ophthalmia is treated by removing any foreign bodies or by eliminating the underlying cause of inflammation.