- Matthew F Gardiner, MD
Matthew F Gardiner, MD
- Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology
- Harvard Medical School
- Carolyn E Kloek, MD
Carolyn E Kloek, MD
- Instructor in Ophthalmology
- Harvard Medical School
- Section Editors
- Richard G Bachur, MD
Richard G Bachur, MD
- Section Editor — Pediatric Trauma
- Professor of Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine
- Harvard Medical School
- Maria E Moreira, MD
Maria E Moreira, MD
- Section Editor — Adult Trauma
- Associate Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine
- University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine
- Residency Program Director
- Denver Health Residency in Emergency Medicine
- Deputy Editor
- James F Wiley, II, MD, MPH
James F Wiley, II, MD, MPH
- Senior Deputy Editor — Adult and Pediatric Emergency Medicine
- Senior Deputy Editor — Primary Care Sports Medicine (Adolescents and Adults)
- Clinical Professor of Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine/Traumatology
- University of Connecticut School of Medicine
Trauma to the ocular surface often involves the conjunctiva. Mechanisms of injury to the conjunctiva include thermal and chemical burns and blunt or penetrating trauma. While injuries can be isolated to the conjunctiva, conjunctival injury can be the presenting sign of underlying intraocular trauma, including open globe injury. Careful evaluation, initial management, and triage of conjunctival injuries are essential to promote appropriate healing of the conjunctiva and other associated ocular injuries.
The approach to subconjunctival hemorrhage, conjunctival abrasions, conjunctival foreign bodies, and conjunctival lacerations will be reviewed here. The treatment of corneal abrasions and foreign bodies and ocular chemical burns are discussed separately. (See "Corneal abrasions and corneal foreign bodies: Clinical manifestations and diagnosis" and "Topical chemical burns", section on 'Eye exposure'.)
The conjunctiva is a thin, transparent tissue which covers and is adherent to the anterior portion of the sclera and lines the inside of the eyelids (figure 1).
The conjunctiva is conventionally divided into two sections:
●Bulbar conjunctiva covering the sclera
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- PERTINENT ANATOMY
- CLINICAL FEATURES
- Subconjunctival hemorrhage
- Conjunctival abrasion
- Conjunctival laceration
- Conjunctival foreign body
- PRIMARY EVALUATION AND MANAGEMENT
- Initial assessment
- Diagnostic tests
- INDICATIONS FOR OPHTHALMOLOGIC CONSULTATION OR REFERRAL
- - Subconjunctival hemorrhage
- - Conjunctival abrasion or laceration
- - Conjunctival foreign body
- SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS