pl. -vae-vas [L. (membrana) conjunctiva, conjunctive (membrane)]
The mucous membrane that lines the eyelids and is reflected onto the eyeball.
The palpebral conjunctiva covers the undersurface of the eyelids. The bulbar conjunctiva coats the anterior portion of the eyeball. The fornix conjunctiva is the transition portion forming a fold between the lid and the globe.
The palpebral and ocular portions should be examined. Color, degree of moisture, presence of foreign bodies or petechial hemorrhages, and inflammation should be observed.
Conjunctival pathology includes trachoma, pannus, and discoloration. Yellowish discoloration is seen in jaundice and pale conjunctivae are seen in anemias. Note: The skin of a person with hypercarotinemia is yellow, but the conjunctivae are not.
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