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.)
Gray's subject #227 1026
Artery lacrimal artery, anterior ciliary arteries
Nerve supratrochlear nerve
MeSH Conjunctiva
Image of a human eye clearly showing the blood vessels of the conjunctiva.
Hyperemia of the superficial blood vessels of the conjunctiva.

The conjunctiva covers the sclera (white part of the eye) and lines the inside of the eyelids. It is composed of rare stratified columnar epithelium.



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.

Gross anatomy

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 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]


The conjunctiva consists of nonkeratinized squamous epithelium.

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 secondary to bacterial infection. The resultant condition is known as conjunctivitis and commonly referred to as pinkeye.

Conjunctival irritation can occur for a wide variety of reasons including dry eye and overexposure to VOCs (Volatile organic compounds).

With age, the conjunctiva can stretch and loosen from the underlying sclera, leading to the formation of conjunctival folds, a condition known as conjunctivochalasis.[3][4]

See also

Additional images


  1. ^ London Place Eye Center (2003). Conjunctivitis. Retrieved July 25, 2004.
  2. ^ Eye, human Encyclopaedia Britannica
  3. ^
  4. ^ WL Hughes Conjunctivochalasis. American Journal of Ophthalmology 1942

External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • conjunctivă — CONJUNCTÍVĂ, conjunctive, s.f. Membrană mucoasă care căptuşeşte faţa internă a pleoapelor şi suprafaţa interioară a globului ocular. (după fr. conjonctive) Trimis de tavi, 08.05.2004. Sursa: MDN  CONJUNCTÍVĂ, conjunctive, s.f. Membrană mucoasă… …   Dicționar Român

  • conjunctiva — 1540s, medical L., short for membrana conjunctiva conjunctive membrane (see CONJUNCTIVE (Cf. conjunctive)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • conjunctiva — [kän΄jəŋk tī′və] n. pl. conjunctivas or conjunctivae [kän΄jəŋk tīvē] [ME < ML (membrana) conjunctiva, connecting (membrane): see CONJUNCTIVE] the mucous membrane lining the inner surface of the eyelids and covering the front part of the… …   English World dictionary

  • Conjunctiva — Con junc*ti va, n. [NL., from L. conjunctivus connective.] (Anat.) The mucous membrane which covers the external surface of the ball of the eye and the inner surface of the lids; the conjunctival membrane. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Conjunctīva — (Anat.), so v. w. Bindehaut des Auges; daher Conjunctivītis, Bindehautentzündung, s. u. Augenentzündungen …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Conjunctīva — (lat.), die Bindehaut des Auges (s. Text zur Tafel »Auge II«) …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Conjunctiva — Conjunctīva (lat.), die Bindehaut des Auges (s. Auge); Conjunctivītis, ihre Entzündung …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Conjunctiva — Conjunctiva, Bindehaut des Auges, s. Auge; Conjunctivitis, Entzündung der Bindehaut …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • Conjunctiva — vgl. Konjunktiva …   Das Wörterbuch medizinischer Fachausdrücke

  • Conjunctiva — A thin clear moist membrane that coats the inner surfaces of the eyelids and the outer surface of the eye. The section of the conjunctiva that coats the inner aspect of the eyelids is called the palpebral conjunctiva while that covering the outer …   Medical dictionary

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