Image of a human eye clearly showing the blood vessels of the conjunctiva.
Hyperemia of the superficial blood vessels of the conjunctiva.
The conjunctiva lines the inside of the eyelids and covers the sclera (white part of the eye). It is composed of non-keratinized, stratified columnar epithelium with goblet cells.
The conjunctiva helps lubricate the eye by producing mucus and tears, although a smaller volume of tears than the lacrimal gland. It also contributes to immune surveillance and helps to prevent the entrance of microbes into the eye.
Gross anatomy 
The conjunctiva is typically divided into three parts:
|Palpebral or tarsal conjunctiva
||Lines the eyelids.
|Bulbar or ocular conjunctiva
||Covers the eyeball, over the anterior sclera. This region of the conjunctiva is tightly bound to the underlying sclera by Tenon's capsule and moves with the eyeball movements.
||Forms the junction between the bulbar and palpebral conjunctivas. It is loose and flexible, allowing the free movement of the lids and eyeball.
Sensory Innervation 
Sensory innervation of the conjunctiva is divided into four parts:
- Supraorbital nerve
- Supratrochlear nerve
- Infratrochlear nerve
||Lacrimal nerve (with contribution from zygomaticofacial nerve)
||Long ciliary nerves
The conjunctiva consists of non-keratinized, stratified squamous epithelium, with interspersed goblet cells. The epithelial layer contains blood vessels, fibrous tissue, and lymphatic channels. Accessory lacrimal glands in the conjunctiva constantly produce the aqueous portion of tears. Additional cells present in the conjunctival epithelium include melanocytes, T and B cell lymphocytes.
Diseases and disorders 
Disorders of the conjunctiva and cornea are a common source of eye complaints.
The surface of the eye is exposed to various external influences and is especially susceptible to trauma, infections, chemical irritation, allergic reactions and dryness.
The conjunctiva can become inflamed secondary to bacterial infection. The resultant condition is known as conjunctivitis and commonly referred to as pinkeye.
Conjunctival irritation can occur for a wide variety of reasons including dry eye and overexposure to VOCs (Volatile organic compounds).
Leptospirosis, an infection with Leptospira, can cause conjunctival suffusion, which is characterized by chemosis, and redness without exudates.
With age, the conjunctiva can stretch and loosen from the underlying sclera, leading to the formation of conjunctival folds, a condition known as conjunctivochalasis.
See also 
Additional images 
Sagittal section through the upper eyelid.
Extrinsic eye muscle. Nerves of orbita. Deep dissection.
External links