Disease of the conjunctiva

Description of condition

Diseases of the conjunctiva, such as conjunctivitis usually caused by a viral infection, are the most common eye conditions. More rarely, benign and malignant tumours can also occur in the conjunctiva. They are often detected early due to their superficial location.


The cause of conjunctivitis is usually a viral or bacterial infection. The cause of benign or malignant tumours is often unclear. One possible factor promoting their formation and growth could be UV rays.


Depending on the type, location and size of the tumour, symptoms vary in terms of their early-stage presentation. Due to the superficial location, changes in the structure or colour of the conjunctiva are quickly evident.

Foto: Nahaufnahme eines menschlichen Auges. Eingewachsenes Gewebe auf der Bindehaut.
Pterygium, ingrowing tissue on the conjunctiva


The first step in the diagnosis is a slit lamp examination conducted by the ophthalmologist. Tumours are either immediately removed or a portion of tissue is taken for histological examination in the laboratory.

In the case of a tumour of the conjunctiva, the conjunctiva lifts off like a bubble from the underlying sclera. A glassy-whitish or bright-red bulge-like swelling of the conjunctiva develops.


Conjunctivitis is usually treated with eye drops. If benign tumours do not cause discomfort and do not pose any aesthetic problems for the patient, treatment is not absolutely necessary. Otherwise the tumour is surgically removed under local anaesthetic by the ophthalmologist. Malignant tumours must however always be treated or removed. The type of treatment depends on the kind of tumour and its size.

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