What does a pale conjunctiva mean?
The ocular conjunctiva can be a window to determining systemic disease. An unhealthy pale appearance of the palpebral conjunctiva is a sign of anemia. Anemia is defined as a reduced count of circulating red blood cells and can occur through blood loss or pathways that hinder red blood cell production.
How would you describe the conjunctiva on a physical exam?
The conjunctiva on the eyeball should be equally white in both eyes. The conjunctiva lining the inner eyelid of the lower lid may be inspected by gently pulling down the lid with a finger. The conjunctiva lining the upper lid can only be observed by everting the upper lid as shown in Figure 114.1.
How do you describe conjunctiva?
The conjunctiva is a loose connective tissue that covers the surface of the eyeball (bulbar conjunctiva) and reflects back upon itself to form the inner layer of the eyelid (palpebral conjunctiva). This tissue firmly adheres to the sclera at the limbus, where it meets the cornea.
Why is there pale conjunctiva in anemia?
Chronic anemia causes the skin and conjunctiva to appear abnormally pale because of reduced amounts of red-colored oxyhemoglobin that circulate in the dermal and subconjunctival capillaries and venules.
What causes anemia?
Anemia occurs when your blood doesn’t have enough red blood cells. This can happen if: Your body doesn’t make enough red blood cells. Bleeding causes you to lose red blood cells more quickly than they can be replaced.
What is the difference between conjunctiva and sclera?
The sclera is a thick layer that forms the white of the eye, a dense connective tissue of the eyeball. The conjunctiva is a thin translucent membrane that covers the sclera and inner lining of the eyelids.
What does normal conjunctiva look like?
Normal: In a normal patient, the sclera is white in color and the palpebral conjunctiva appears pink. Unless conjunctiva is diseased you are only visualizing sclera and palpebral vascular bed through the translucent conjunctiva.
What does conjunctiva mean in medical terms?
(KON-junk-TY-vuh) A membrane that lines the inner surface of the eyelid and also covers the front part of the eye.
What is the conjunctiva and its function?
The conjunctiva of the eye provides protection and lubrication of the eye by the production of mucus and tears. It prevents microbial entrance into the eye and plays a role in immune surveillance. It lines the inside of the eyelids and provides a covering to the sclera.
Is pale conjunctiva normal?
The presence of conjunctival pallor, without other information suggesting anemia, is reason enough to perform a hemoglobin determination. The absence of conjunctival pallor is not likely to be of use in ruling out severe anemia. With well-defined criteria, interobserver agreement is good to very good.