World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article


Article Id: WHEBN0000857518
Reproduction Date:

Title: Conjunctiva  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Conjunctivitis, Human eye, Tenon's capsule, Keratoconjunctivitis sicca, List of dog diseases
Collection: Human Eye Anatomy
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


The upper half of a sagittal section through the front of the eyeball. (Label for 'Conjunctiva' visible at center-left.)
Horizontal section of the eyeball. (Conjunctiva labeled at upper left.)
Latin tunica conjunctiva
lacrimal artery, anterior ciliary arteries
supratrochlear nerve
MeSH A09.371.192
Anatomical terminology
Image of a human eye clearly showing the blood vessels of the conjunctiva.
Hyperaemia of the superficial blood vessels of the conjunctiva.

The conjunctiva lines the inside of the eyelids and covers the sclera (white part of the eye). It is composed of non-keratinized, stratified columnar epithelium with goblet cells, and also stratified columnar epithelium.


  • Function 1
  • Anatomy 2
    • Sensory innervation 2.1
    • Histology 2.2
  • Diseases and disorders 3
  • See also 4
  • Additional images 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


The conjunctiva helps lubricate the eye by producing mucus and tears, although a smaller volume of tears than the lacrimal gland.[1] It also contributes to immune surveillance and helps to prevent the entrance of microbes into the eye.


The conjunctiva is typically divided into three parts:

Part Area
Palpebral or tarsal conjunctiva Lines the eyelids.
Bulbar or ocular conjunctiva Covers the eyeball, over the anterior sclera. This region of the conjunctiva is tightly bound to the underlying sclera by Tenon's capsule and moves with the eyeball movements.
Fornix conjunctiva Forms the junction between the bulbar and palpebral conjunctivas. It is loose and flexible, allowing the free movement of the lids and eyeball.[2]

Sensory innervation

Sensory innervation of the conjunctiva is divided into four parts:[3]

Area Nerve
Inferior Infraorbital nerve
Lateral Lacrimal nerve (with contribution from zygomaticofacial nerve)
Circumcorneal Long ciliary nerves


The conjunctiva consists of non-keratinized, both stratified squamous and stratified columnar epithelium, with interspersed goblet cells.[4] The epithelial layer contains blood vessels, fibrous tissue, and lymphatic channels.[4] Accessory lacrimal glands in the conjunctiva constantly produce the aqueous portion of tears.[4] Additional cells present in the conjunctival epithelium include melanocytes, T and B cell lymphocytes.[4]

Diseases and disorders

Disorders of the conjunctiva and cornea are a common source of eye complaints.

The surface of the eye is exposed to various external influences and is especially susceptible to trauma, infections, chemical irritation, allergic reactions and dryness.

The conjunctiva can become inflamed due to an infection or an autoimmune response. This is known as conjunctivitis and commonly referred to as pinkeye.

Conjunctival irritation can occur for a wide variety of reasons including Volatile organic compounds).

Leptospirosis, an infection with Leptospira, can cause conjunctival suffusion, which is characterized by chemosis, and redness without exudates.

With age, the conjunctiva can stretch and loosen from the underlying sclera, leading to the formation of conjunctival folds, a condition known as conjunctivochalasis.[5][6]

The conjunctiva can be affected by tumors which can be benign, pre-malignant or malignant.[7]

See also

Additional images


  1. ^ London Place Eye Center (2003). Conjunctivitis. Retrieved July 25, 2004.
  2. ^ Eye, human Encyclopaedia Britannica
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b c d Goldman, Lee. Goldman's Cecil Medicine (24th ed.). Philadelphia: Elsevier Saunders. p. 2426.  
  5. ^ "Conjunctivochalasis - Medical Definition". Retrieved 2012-11-13. 
  6. ^ WL Hughes Conjunctivochalasis. American Journal of Ophthalmology 1942
  7. ^ Biswas, J.; Varde, M. (2009). "Ocular surface tumors". Oman Journal of Ophthalmology 2: 1.  

External links

  • (1999). Conjunctiva. Retrieved July 25, 2004.
  • MedEd at Loyola medicine/pulmonar/images/anatomy/eyeli.jpg
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.