conjunctivitis

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conjunctivitis

(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.

Conjunctivitis

 

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.

L. A. KATSNEL’SON

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.

REFERENCES

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.

conjunctivitis

[kən‚jəŋk·tə′vīd·əs]
(medicine)
Inflammation of the conjunctiva.

conjunctivitis

inflammation of the conjunctiva
References in periodicals archive ?
Nicox will conduct clinical studies in order to launch a medical product for the management of viral conjunctivitis potentially within the next two years.
The spectrum of viral conjunctivitis varies from mild illness to severe inflammation of eyes with significant morbidity.
The differential diagnosis of bacterial conjunctivitis includes chlamydial and viral conjunctivitis, which shall be discussed in detail later, along with other forms, such as allergic and irritant conjunctivitis.
On the other hand, the etiology can not be predicted based on the the clinical examination, since the signs and symptoms of bacterial and viral conjunctivitis can overlap (27).
Viral conjunctivitis is often associated with fever and its symptoms include a watery discharge and itch.
The same viruses that cause the common cold can cause viral conjunctivitis.
Viral conjunctivitis can be transmitted from one person to another by casual contact, sharing towels or pillow cases, facial contact, or sharing of cosmetics.
For viral conjunctivitis, try sterile saline drops to clean the eye and make it feel more comfortable.
Viral conjunctivitis causes little discharge, but if present it is clear.
The National Public Health Service for Wales (NPHS) has identified 59 cases of viral conjunctivitis in the Rhondda Fach Valley in South Wales.
A total of 30 cases of viral conjunctivitis have so far been reported, mainly in the Rhondda.
NCT, which is a derivative of a naturally occurring substance in the body, has already completed pilot Phase II studies in Europe, where it has been shown to have promising anti-microbial activity and to be safe and well- tolerated in such applications as sinus and ear infections, as well as in viral conjunctivitis.