How is bacterial conjunctivitis (pink eye) defined?

Updated: Jan 03, 2019
  • Author: Karen K Yeung, OD, FAAO; Chief Editor: Andrew A Dahl, MD, FACS  more...
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Answer

Conjunctivitis, which is defined as inflammation of the bulbar and/or palpebral conjunctiva (the transparent lubricating mucous membrane that covers both the surface of the eye and lining of the undersurface of the eyelids), has many etiologies, including infection from various bacteria, fungi, and viruses, as well as toxic and allergic insults. Conjunctivitis, which is also known as pink eye, is common; about 1% of all primary care office visits in the United States are related to conjunctivitis, affecting about 6 million people annually. [1, 2]


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