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The conjunctiva is a thin, transparent membrane that covers and protects the sclera and the inner face of the Eyelids.

This membrane protects the ocular structure of external agents such as dust, bacteria, fungi, toxic substances and any pathogen that can trigger an infection. 

Inflammation of the conjunctiva is one of the most frequent causes of visit to the ophthalmologist and is known as conjunctivitis.

En Área Oftalmológica Avanzada We explain, then, what is the conjunctiva and the importance it has for eye health. 

What is the ocular conjunctiva?

The conjunctiva of the eye is the thin tissue that covers the entire sclera and the inner part of the eyelids.

It is composed of two segments, the palpebral conjunctiva and the bulbar conjunctiva. 

Despite its segmentation, the conjunctiva is a continuous tissue and this feature makes it possible for no microorganisms or objects, such as contact lenses, penetrate the inner part of the eye.

In this way, the conjunctiva can fulfill one of its most important functions: protecting the ocular structure.

Functions of the conjunctiva of the eye

The conjunctiva is a tissue that performs very important functions for the health of the eyeball, let's see:

  • It is responsible for keeping the front surface of the eye moist and lubricated.
  • It maintains the correct humidity in the inner part of the eyelids so that they can open and close easily without friction and eye irritation.
  • Protects the eye from any external factor such as dust or microorganisms that can cause infections.
  • The blood vessels in the conjunctiva help nourish the eye and eyelids.
  • The goblet cells of the conjunctiva secrete an indispensable ingredient, mucin, so that the tear film adhere to the ocular surface and thus prevent Dry eye syndrome.

parts of the conjunctiva

The conjunctiva is a continuous tissue that has two segments: 

Bulbar conjunctiva 

It is the part of the tissue that covers the entire anterior area of ​​the sclera, the white part of the eye. The bulbar conjunctiva extends to the area where the cornea with the sclera, without covering the cornea. 

palpebral conjunctiva 

It is the part that is responsible for covering and protecting the inner area of ​​the lower and upper eyelid.

This part of the conjunctiva can be called the tarsal conjunctiva.

conjunctiva problems

The ocular conjunctiva is a tissue sensitive to any external and harmful factor, such as dust mites or debris, therefore, its inflammation or infection is more common than we think.

Our main conditions that can suffer are: 

  • Conjunctivitis: It is one of the most frequent causes of visits to the ophthalmologist and occurs when the conjunctiva becomes inflamed due to viruses, bacteria and allergies. 
  • conjunctival pallor: The pale conjunctiva is not a disease, it is a condition that occurs when the tissue adopts a pale or unhealthy tone, usually due to anemia. 
  • injected conjunctiva: Its about redness of the eye due to dilation of the blood vessels of the conjunctiva. Various conditions can cause this condition. 
  • conjunctival cyst: formation of a strange lump in the conjunctiva that is filled with a transparent liquid. 
  • conjunctival hemorrhage: bleeding that originates in one or several capillaries of the tissue. Blood is visible in the sclera, which adopts a bright red hue. 

Do you want to know more information about the conjunctiva? Contact us in Área Oftalmológica Avanzada And we will answer all your questions.

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The conjunctiva is a membrane that covers the sclera and the upper surface of the eyelids. We tell you what it is for and its parts.
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Área Oftalmológica Avanzada
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