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Classification of Conjunctivitis

  1. Based on type of exudate                                         
    1. Serous - clear fluid resembling serum (viral, allergic, toxic)
    2. Catarrhal - thick or viscid secretion resembling mucus. (allergic)
    3. Purulent (bacterial)
    4. Mucopurulent (bacterial, chlamydial)
    5. Membranous and Pseudomembranous (bacterial)
  2. Based on conjunctival response
    1. Follicular (viral, chlamydial)
    2. Papillary (allergic)
    3. Granulomatous* (fungal, Parinaud oculoglandular syndrome, tuberculosis, syphilis, sarcoidosis, tularaemia, actinomycosis, sporotrichosis, parasitic, myiasis, foreign body)
  3. Based on aetiology
    1. Infectious
      1. Bacterial (Staphylococcus aureus and albus, Haemophilus aegyptius, H. influenzae, N. gonorrhoeae, N. meningitides, Streptococcus pyogenes, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Moraxella lacunata, Proteus, Klebsiella, Escherichia coli, diphtheroids, etc.)
      2. Viral (herpes simplex, adenoviruses, picornaviruses [Coxsackie virus, enterovirus 70], myxovirus [measles], paramyxoviruses [mumps, Newcastle conjunctivitis], molluscum contagiosum, ete.)
      3. Chlamydial (adult or acute inclusion conjunctivitis [D-K], trachoma [A, B, Ba,C) lymphogranuloma venereum [L 1, L2, L3]
      4. Fungal (Aspergillus, Candida, Nocardia, Leptothrix, Sporothrix, Actinomyces, Rhinosporidium seeberi)
      5. Parasitic
    2. Non-infectious
      1. Allergic
      2. Irritants (physical, foreign bodies, contact lens use, radiation)
      3. Endogenous or autoimmune
      4. Dry eye
      5. Toxic (chemical or drug-induced)
      6. Factitious or self-inflicted, artefacta
      7. Idiopathic thick or viscid secretion resembling mucus.

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