Conjunctivitis

Labelled Diagram of the Eye

Labelled diagram of the structure of the retina

The word conjunctivitis refers to inflammation of the conjunctiva of the eye. It is also sometimes known as Pink Eye, which is another word that means the same as conjunctivitis.
Recall that the suffix -itis usually indicates "inflammation" of the preceding anatomical part of the body, in this case the conjunctiva.

Conjunctivitis can cause the conjunctiva to become inflammed, red and swollen. It is often also associated with the production of a watery or pus-containing discharge from the conjunctiva. This is generally uncomfortable and inconvenient but is not necessarily painful.

Conjunctivitis can occur to due various causes including certain bacteria or viruses, in which case spreading to the other eye usually occurs quickly, or the presence of chemical or physical irritants.

Allergic conjunctivitis (also known as "vernal conjunctivitis") is inflammation of the conjunctiva, which might be due to a specific allergen such as pollen, dust, or animal fibers.

More about Ophthalmology:

This section includes short definitions of many diseases, disorders, and conditions of the eyes and visual system.
For definitions of other terms in this category, choose from the list to the left (but note that this is not a complete/exhaustive list).

Other related pages include

For further information see also our pages of books about ophthalmology.

The following books may also be of interest:

The Aging Eye (Harvard Medical School)
MCQ Companion to the Eye (Textbook)
The Secret of Perfect Vision: How You Can Prevent and Reverse Nearsightedness
What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About(TM) Glaucoma: The Essential Treatments and Advances That Could Save Your Sight

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