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(kənjəngtəvī`təs), inflammation or infection of the mucosal membrane that covers the eyeball and lines the eyelid, usually acute, caused by a virus or, less often, by a bacillus, an allergic reaction, or an irritating chemical. Commonly called pinkeye, mild conjunctivitis usually causes redness, discharge, and itching of the membrane. Conjunctivitis may also be associated with upper respiratory infection or with childhood diseases such as measles. Bacterial forms of the disorder, whether chronic or acute, are treated successfully with antibiotics, and although viral conjunctivitis will clear up on its own in 8 to 10 days, antibiotic eyedrops or ointments are often prescribed for most cases of the disease in order to prevent bacterial conjunctivitis. Trachomatrachoma
, infection of the mucous membrane of the eyelids caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis. Trachoma affects at least 86 million people worldwide. An estimated 1.
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, though rare in the United States, is a severe conjunctivitis that can cause loss of vision. Another severe form of conjunctivitis is caused by the gonococcus bacterium and is usually associated with a genital infection. Conjunctivitis in newborn infants, called ophthalmia neonatorum, was a problem at one time; however, routine instillation of silver nitrate solution into the eyes of newborn infants has materially reduced the incidence of blindness.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



inflammation of the conjunctiva.

Conjunctivitis is the most common eye disease. It may be exogenous or endogenous in origin; the former is more frequent. Exogenous conjunctivitis is caused by various microbes, including streptococci, staphylococci, the diphtheria bacillus, and gonococci. The Koch-Weeks bacillus and the Morax-Axenfeld diplococcus are specific for conjunctivitis. The cause is also often viral infection. In addition, the condition may result from mechanical irritation, such as by foreign bodies, from exposure to heat, ultraviolet and ionizing radiation, or chemical agents.

Endogenous conjunctivitides arise in the presence of systemic infections (measles, scarlet fever), inflammations of the nasopharynx or teeth, or diseases of the gastrointestinal tract or liver. There are also allergic conjunctivitides.

Conjunctivitis is classified as either acute or chronic, according to its course. Acute conjunctivitis is manifested by a purulent discharge from the eye and redness (hyperemia) of the palpebral and ocular conjunctivae and sometimes by punctate hemorrhages under the conjunctiva and conjunctival edema. In some cases the surface of the conjunctiva becomes rough, a result of the appearance in it of ridged formations, or follicles, and papillae. Chronic conjunctivitis shows moderate changes in the conjunctiva. Most notable are subjective sensations, such as a feeling of dust in the eye and photophobia. Conjunctivitis is treated with sulfanilamides and antibiotic eyedrops. Hormonal (corticosteroid) preparations are used in some cases. In cases with purulent discharge the eyes are irrigated with boric acid solution or with a weak solution of potassium permanganate.


Conjunctivitis in animals is most often observed as a symptom of various other diseases. The causes of independent conjunctivitides in animals may be mechanical, chemical, or radiant irritants or the causative agents of certain infectious diseases. The principal manifestation is conjunctival hyperemia. The condition is treated by eliminating the primary causes and using antiseptic solutions.


Arkhangel’skii, V. N. Glaznye bolezni, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1969. Pages 124–33.
Mnogotomnoe rukovodstvo po glaznym bolezniam, vol. 2, book 1. Moscow, 1960. Pages 46–186.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


Inflammation of the conjunctiva.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


inflammation of the conjunctiva
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
TABLE 1 Distribution of Subjective Symptoms of Eyes and Respiratory System in Different Living Environments Subjective Symptoms Urban Desert p-Value Area (%) Area (%) Eyes Itchy eye 11.1 23.0 .349 Bloodshot eye 11.1 32.2 .025 * Lacrimation 8.3 36.8 .001 * Respiratory system Mucus 10.3 13.9 .454 Nasal congestion 24.1 27.8 .696 Coughing 20.2 27.8 .562 Sputum 10.7 11.1 .813 Breathlessness 2.9 12.8 .173 * Statistically significant.
"The victim told police he had been drinking heavily that day and had no recollection of the incident waking up with pain to his head and a bloodshot eye.
The shop owner, a dad of three children, was left with a bandaged hand and a bloodshot eye and had to hire security for his night shift after the attack by two masked raiders.
The baby was taken to hospital with bruising and a bloodshot eye after the mother picked him up from Sinetto's home in Barry.
In 2006, the monarch was ( photographed with a visibly bloodshot eye when she visited Belfast to award the Royal Irish Regiment the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross in Ireland.
Summary: Buckingham Palace has remained tight-lipped over the Queen's bloodshot eye at a polo match in Windsor on Sunday.
He was later diagnosed with dehydration and the stress of the episode led to him sporting one bloodshot eye on his wedding day.
RED/ BLOODSHOT EYES "A red or bloodshot eye can be alarming but is commonly a sign of conjunctivitis or a minor eye infection," says Boots optometrist Carolyn Norman.
The Prince had a badly bloodshot eye but it was not thought to have been caused by any particular incident.
Kicking off in the New Year, the series is being billed as Celebrity Big Brother - Hell Lies in Others - and the logo features a bloodshot eye surrounded by flames.
He had blonde shaved hair and several old-looking injuries to his face, including a bloodshot eye and grazes.
Optrex Bloodshot Eye Drops, (pounds 4.29, are heavy duty enough to deal with even the biggest heartbreak.