Health A-Z

Vernal Keratoconjunctivitis

Clinical Definition

Vernal keratoconjunctivitis is a relatively rare eye disorder involving the palpebral conjunctiva and/or the limbus of the eye. It occurs bilaterally and an allergic response may play a major role. The condition most frequently affects boys and young men in dry subtropical climates. Cobblestone papillae may develop on the upper palpebra. Intense itching, photosensitivity and mucus discharge from the eye are also characteristics of vernal keratoconjunctivitis.

In Our Own Words

Vernal keratoconjunctivitis an eye disorder in which there may be inflammation of the palpebral conjunctiva, the mucus membrane that lines the inside part of the eyelids.

It often occurs in the spring and summer months (vernal) and develops most often in young men under 20 and is generally rare in North America and Northern Europe. The exact reason it occurs is not fully understood, but it may be due to allergies. The condition often causes bumps on the upper eyelid, crusting discharge and itchy eyes. Sensitivity to light also occurs.  The condition almost always occurs in both eyes.

Symptoms and Side Effects

  • Itching
  • Photosensitivity
  • Mucus discharge from the eyes
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