The conjunctiva is a thin delicate mucous membrane that covers the front of the eyes
The form of the conjunctiva varies according to its position. It can be described in several parts:
- The palpebral part of the conjunctiva is that area of it which lines insides of the eyelids. This is relatively thick and highly vascular (i.e. it contains many blood vessels).
- The folds formed where the conjunctiva folds from
the inner eye lids onto the front part of the eye are called
- the superior palpebral fold (in the case of the upper eye-lid), and
- the inferior palpebral fold (in the case of the lower eye-lid).
- Between these folds the conjunctiva folds the sclera
(also known as the sclerotic)
and the cornea.
- In the area covering the sclera the conjunctiva is only loosly connected to the eyeball (also referred to as the "globe"), it loses the papillary structure (i.e. consisting of nipple-shaped protruberances) that it had over the insides of the eye-lids, is transparent and contains few blood vessels.
- In the area covering the cornea the conjunctiva is thin, transparent, and consists only of an epithelial layer called conjunctival epithelium.
More about Ophthalmology:
This section includes short definitions and descriptions of the parts of the eye.
For other descriptions in this category, choose from the list to the left (but note that this is not a complete / exhaustive list).
Other related sections include:
- A labelled diagram of the eye
- A concise description of the human retina with brief descriptions of the parts of the retina
- Diseases and disorders of the human eye and the human visual system
- Clinical and surgical procedures re. eyes and human visual system
For further information see also our pages of books about ophthalmology.