Conjunctivitis classification

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [4]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Sara Mehrsefat, M.D. [5]


Conjunctivitis may be classified based on the duration of symptoms into hyperacute, acute, and chronic.[1][2] Additionally, conjunctivitis may be classified according to the causality of the inflammation or age groups into several subtypes: infective conjunctivitis (bacterial and viral), neonatal conjunctivitis (ophthalmia neonatorum), allergic conjunctivitis, keratoconjunctivitis sicca (dry eye syndrome), superior limbic keratoconjunctivitis, and chemical conjunctivitis.[3][4]


Based on the duration of symptoms, conjunctivitis may be classified into hyperacute, acute (less than 3 weeks), and chronic (greater than 3 weeks).

According to the etiology and age groups, conjunctivitis may be classified into:[5][6][7][8][9] [10]


  1. National Eye Institute (2015). [1] Accessed on June 23, 2016
  2. Blochmichel E, Helleboid L, Corvec MP (1993). "Chronic allergic conjunctivitis". Ocul Immunol Inflamm. 1 (1–2): 9–12. doi:10.3109/09273949309086529. PMID 22827184.
  3. Alfonso SA, Fawley JD, Alexa Lu X (2015). "Conjunctivitis". Prim Care. 42 (3): 325–45. doi:10.1016/j.pop.2015.05.001. PMID 26319341.
  4. Leonardi A, Castegnaro A, Valerio AL, Lazzarini D (2015). "Epidemiology of allergic conjunctivitis: clinical appearance and treatment patterns in a population-based study". Curr Opin Allergy Clin Immunol. 15 (5): 482–8. doi:10.1097/ACI.0000000000000204. PMID 26258920.
  5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2016). [2] Accessed on June 23, 2016
  6. Menon BB, Zhou X, Spurr-Michaud S, Rajaiya J, Chodosh J, Gipson IK (2016). "Epidemic Keratoconjunctivitis-Causing Adenoviruses Induce MUC16 Ectodomain Release To Infect Ocular Surface Epithelial Cells". mSphere. 1 (1). doi:10.1128/mSphere.00112-15. PMC 4863608. PMID 27303700.
  7. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2016). [3] Accessed on June 23, 2016
  8. Mallika P, Asok T, Faisal H, Aziz S, Tan A, Intan G (2008). "Neonatal conjunctivitis - a review". Malays Fam Physician. 3 (2): 77–81. PMC 4170304. PMID 25606121.
  9. Li Z, Chen W, Zhang Y, Jhanji V, Fan Z, Mu G (2015). "Topical Fluorometholone Versus Diclofenac Sodium in Cases With Perennial Allergic Conjunctivitis". Eye Contact Lens. 41 (5): 310–3. doi:10.1097/ICL.0000000000000127. PMID 26322818.
  10. Bischoff G (2014). "[Giant papillary conjunctivitis]". Klin Monbl Augenheilkd. 231 (5): 518–21. doi:10.1055/s-0034-1368334. PMID 24799171.