Vernal conjunctivitis: Overview, Causes

Definition

Vernal conjunctivitis is swelling (inflammation) of the outer lining of the eyes due to an allergic reaction.

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors

Vernal conjunctivitis often occurs in people with a strong family history of allergies. It is most common during the spring and summer.

The condition causes itchy, watery eyes. The underside of the eyelids may become rough and covered with bumps and a whitish mucus. The area around the cornea where the white of the eye and the cornea meet (limbus) may become rough and swollen. If this swelling and roughness moves over the cornea, it may cause scarring and decreased vision.

Pictures & Images
Eye

The eye is the organ of sight, a nearly spherical hollow globe filled with fluids (humors). The outer layer or tunic (sclera, or white, and cornea) is fibrous and protective. The middle tunic layer (choroid, ciliary body and the iris) is vascular. The innermost layer (the retina) is nervous or sensory. The fluids in the eye are divided by the lens into the vitreous humor (behind the lens) and the aqueous humor (in front of the lens). The lens itself is flexible and suspended by ligaments which allow it to change shape to focus light on the retina, which is composed of sensory neurons.


Review Date : 1/25/2008
Reviewed By : Manju Subramanian, MD, Assistant Professor in Ophthalmology, Vitreoretinal Disease and Surgery, Boston University Eye Associates, Boston, MA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.

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