April 2017
Ophthalmology
Peer Reviewed

Figure 1 Rhinosinusitis, conjunctivitis, and mucopurulent ocular discharge in a patient with FHV-1 infection. Photo courtesy of Michael G. Davidson, DVM, DACVO

PROFILE

Definition

  • Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, a tissue that lines the eyelids and covers the sclerae. 
  • The conjunctiva is an exposed mucous membrane that reacts to antigenic stimulation caused by contact with noxious stimuli. 
  • The superficial stroma of the conjunctiva is rich in lymphatic tissue, both diffuse and aggregated. 
    • When aggregated tissue is stimulated, it forms lymphoid follicles, which produce effector cells. Conjunctival plasma cells produce specific immunoglobulins as part of the secretory component of the immune response.1,2

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