- Inflammation of the conjuctivae, the membranes on the inner part of the eyelids and the membranes covering the whites of the eyes. These membranes react to a wide range of bacteria, viruses, allergy-provoking agents, irritants and toxic agents. Viral and bacterial forms of conjunctivitis are common in childhood. Conjunctivitis is also called pinkeye and red eye. The leading cause of a red eye is virus infection. Viral pink eye is usually associated with more of a watery discharge, not green or yellow in color, and is frequently associated with viral cold-like symptoms. The eyelids may be swollen. Sometimes looking at bright lights is painful. While viral pink eye, may not require an antibiotic, the doctor should see the child, as occasionally this form of pink eye can be associated with infection of the cornea, (the clear portion of the front of the eyeball). This infection must be correctly detected and treated. Viral pink eye is highly contagious. The bacteria that most commonly cause pink eye are staphylococcus, pneumococcus, and streptococcus. Symptoms include eye pain, swelling, redness, and a moderate to large amount of discharge, usually yellow or greenish in color. The discharge commonly accumulates after sleep. The eyelids may be stuck together requiring a warm wash cloth applied to the eyes to remove the discharge. This bacterial pink eye responds to repeated warm wash cloths applied to the eyes and antibiotic eye drops or ointment. Chlamydia is a form a bacterial that is an uncommon form of pink eye in the U.S., but is very common in Africa and the Middle Eastern countries. It can cause pink eye in adults and neonates. It is a cause of pink eye in adolescents and adults that can be sexually transmitted. Chlamydia pink eye is typically treated with tetracycline (except in children less than eight years old, because of possible teeth discoloration) or erythromycin. Allergic pink eye is usually accompanied by intense itching, tearing, and swelling of the eye membranes. Frequent causes include seasonal pollens, animal dander, and dust. It is frequently seasonal, and goes along with other typical "allergy" symptoms such as sneezing, itchy nose, or scratchy throat. Cold moist wash clothes applied to the eyes and over-the-counter decongestant eye drops give welcome relief. Your doctor can prescribe stronger medications if these remedies are not adequate.
* * *- acute contagious c. an obsolete term for an acute c. marked by intense hyperemia and profuse mucopurulent discharge. SYN: acute epidemic c., pinkeye.- acute hemorrhagic c. specific acute endemic c. with eyelid swelling, tearing, conjunctival hemorrhages, and follicles; usually caused by Enterovirus type 70.- acute viral c. an epidemic inflammation of the conjunctiva marked by follicles, especially in the lower fornix; may be caused by adenoviruses, herpesvirus, and Newcastle disease virus.- allergic c. an immunologic reaction mediated by immunoglobulin E associated with itching, redness, and tearing; it is typically seasonal and may affect up to 10% of the population.- angular c. a subacute bilateral conjunctival inflammation sometimes caused by the Moraxella bacillus, marked by redness of the lateral canthi and scanty, stringy discharge that adheres to the lashes. SYN: Moraxella c..- c. arida SYN: xerophthalmia.- chronic c. a persistent, bilateral, conjunctival hyperemia with scanty exudation; there is a tendency toward remission and exacerbation.- chronic follicular c. indolent inflammation of the conjunctiva, with discrete follicles in fornices that may be infective, toxic, or irritant in nature.- cicatricial c. a chronic progressive ocular affection that produces scarring of the conjunctiva primarily and of the cornea sequentially.- diphtheritic c. a severe conjunctival inflammation caused by Corynebacterium diphtheriae and characterized by an infiltrating membrane which on removal leaves a raw surface. SYN: membranous c..- giant papillary c. conjunctival inflammation characterized by large papillae and associated with sensitization to antigenic material present on the surface of a contact lens.- hyperacute purulent c. c. caused by Neisseria gonorrhea and marked by swollen congested conjunctiva, edematous eyelids, and a purulent discharge.- ligneous c. c. characterized typically by woody induration of the upper tarsal conjunctiva, whitish pseudomembrane, and, in severe cases, corneal opacity; usually bilateral.- c. medicamentosa a c. caused by medicine or toxin instilled into the conjunctival sac. SYN: toxicogenic c..- membranous c. SYN: diphtheritic c..- Moraxella c. SYN: angular c..- necrotic infectious c. a unilateral, suppurative, necrotic inflammation of the conjunctiva characterized by scattered, elevated white spots in the fornices and palpebral conjunctiva, and ipsilateral swelling of preauricular, parotid, and submaxillary lymph glands. SYN: Pascheff c..- neonatal c. SYN: ophthalmia neonatorum.- Parinaud c. a chronic necrotic inflammation of the conjunctiva characterized by large, irregular, reddish follicles and regional lymphadenopathy.- phlyctenular c. a circumscribed c. accompanied by the formation of small red nodules of lymphoid tissue (phlyctenulae) on the conjunctiva. SYN: phlyctenular ophthalmia.- pseudomembranous c. a nonspecific inflammatory reaction characterized by the appearance on the conjunctiva of a coagulated fibrinous plaque that may be peeled off from intact epithelium.- purulent c. a violently acute inflammation of the conjunctiva, with copious pus and a marked tendency for corneal involvement.- spring c. SYN: vernal c..- swimming pool c. a nonspecific red eye that can be caused by pool chlorination, adenovirus, and rarely, Chlamydia.- trachomatous c. a chronic infection of the conjunctiva due to Chlamydia trachomatis, characterized by conjunctival follicles and subsequent cicatrization. SEE ALSO: trachoma. SYN: granular c..- tularemic c., c. tularensis SYN: squirrel plague c..- vernal c. a chronic, bilateral conjunctival inflammation with photophobia and intense itching that recurs seasonally during warm weather; characterized in the palpebral form by cobblestone papillae in the upper palpebral conjunctiva and in the bulbar form by gelatinous nodules adjacent to the corneoscleral limbus. SYN: spring c., spring ophthalmia, vernal catarrh, vernal keratoconjunctivitis.- welder's c. SYN: ultraviolet keratoconjunctivitis.
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* * *n.inflammation of the conjunctiva, which becomes red and swollen and produces a watery or pus-containing discharge. It causes discomfort rather than pain and does not usually affect vision. Conjunctivitis may be caused by infection by bacteria or viruses (in which case it usually spreads rapidly to the other eye) or physical or chemical irritation. The patient usually recovers with no after-effects in one to three weeks; bacterial infections respond to antibiotic eye drops. Allergic (or vernal) conjunctivitis is acute or chronic inflammation of the cornea usually due to a specific allergen, such as pollen, animal danders, or dust. It is characterized by itching, irritation, redness, watering of the eyes, and light sensitivity. See also inclusion conjunctivitis, trachoma.
* * *con·junc·ti·vi·tis (kən-junk″tĭ-viґtis) pl. conjunctiviґtides. inflammation of the conjunctiva, generally consisting of conjunctival hyperemia associated with a discharge.
Medical dictionary. 2011.