Conjunctivitis: A Systematic Review

J Ophthalmic Vis Res. 2020 Aug 6;15(3):372-395. doi: 10.18502/jovr.v15i3.7456. eCollection 2020 Jul-Sep.


Conjunctivitis is a commonly encountered condition in ophthalmology clinics throughout the world. In the management of suspected cases of conjunctivitis, alarming signs for more serious intraocular conditions, such as severe pain, decreased vision, and painful pupillary reaction, must be considered. Additionally, a thorough medical and ophthalmic history should be obtained and a thorough physical examination should be done in patients with atypical findings and chronic course. Concurrent physical exam findings with relevant history may reveal the presence of a systemic condition with involvement of the conjunctiva. Viral conjunctivitis remains to be the most common overall cause of conjunctivitis. Bacterial conjunctivitis is encountered less frequently and it is the second most common cause of infectious conjunctivitis. Allergic conjunctivitis is encountered in nearly half of the population and the findings include itching, mucoid discharge, chemosis, and eyelid edema. Long-term usage of eye drops with preservatives in a patient with conjunctival irritation and discharge points to the toxic conjunctivitis as the underlying etiology. Effective management of conjunctivitis includes timely diagnosis, appropriate differentiation of the various etiologies, and appropriate treatment.

Keywords: Bacterial; COVID-19; Conjunctivitis; Coronavirus; Toxic; Viral; Allergic.

Publication types

  • Review