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WikiDoc Resources for Keratoconjunctivitis


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List of terms related to Keratoconjunctivitis

Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]


Keratoconjunctivitis refers to an inflammation ("itis") of the cornea and conjunctiva. When only the cornea is inflamed, it is called keratitis; when only the conjunctiva is inflamed, it is called conjunctivitis. [1]


There several potential causes of the inflammation:[2]

  • Keratoconjunctivitis sicca is used when the inflammation is due to dryness. ("Sicca" means "dryness" in medical contexts.)
  • The term "Vernal keratoconjunctivitis" (VKC) is used to refer to keratoconjunctivitis occurring in spring, and is usually considered to be due to allergens.
  • "Atopic keratoconjunctivitis" is one manifestation of atopy.
  • "Epidemic keratoconjunctivitis" is caused by an adenovirus infection.
  • "Infectious bovine keratoconjunctivitis" (IBK) is a disease affecting cattle caused by the bacteria Moraxella bovis.
  • "Superior limbic keratoconjuctivitis" is thought to be caused by mechanical trauma.
  • "Keratoconjunctivitis photoelectrica" (arc eye) means that the inflammation is caused by UV light. This can be caused, by example, by welding without wearing protective eye glass. The inflammation will only appear after about 6 to 12 hours. It can be treated by rest (it usually heals within 24 to 48 hours). Additionally, one can wear sunglasses. Antibiotics are not proven to be helpful, however oxybuprocaine may help.[3]


  1. Krashmer JH, Mannis MJ, Holland E. Conjunctivitis: an overview and classification, viral conjunctivitis. Cornea. 2005;601-612, 629-634.
  2. Smolin G, Thoft RA. Viral keratitis and conjunctivitis. In: Cornea: Scientific Foundations and Clinical Practice. 2005:359-364.
  3. Yanoff M, Duker JS. Disorders of the conjunctiva and limbus. Ophthalmology. 2004;chapter 55:399-401

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