2020–2021 BCSC Basic and Clinical Science Course™
8 External Disease and Cornea
Chapter 6: Clinical Approach to Depositions and Degenerations of the Conjunctiva, Cornea, and Sclera
Degenerations of the Conjunctiva
Degeneration of a tissue refers to decomposition and deterioration of tissue elements and functions. For a proper diagnosis, it is important to distinguish corneal degenerations, which infrequently exhibit an inheritance pattern, from corneal dystrophies (Table 6-1).
Table 6-1 Differences Between Corneal Degenerations and Corneal Dystrophies
As a result of aging, the conjunctiva loses transparency and becomes thinner. The substantia propria (stroma) becomes less elastic, causing conjunctival laxity. In older individuals, the conjunctival vessels may become more prominent. Saccular telangiectasias, fusiform dilatory changes, or tortuosities may appear in the vessels. These changes are not necessarily uniform; they tend to be more pronounced in the region of the interpalpebral fissure, corresponding to the area most commonly exposed to the environment.
Excerpted from BCSC 2020-2021 series: Section 10 - Glaucoma. For more information and to purchase the entire series, please visit https://www.aao.org/bcsc.