Charles R. Drew University
Mervyn M. Dymally School of Nursing
Victor Chaban, PhD, MSCR
Jose Nava, RN, MSN, PHN
December 5, 2012
In the 2007 romantic comedy film “Knocked Up,” the disease known as conjunctivitis, commonly referred to as “pink eye,” was referenced. Since the popularity of that film, it has been a social stigma that “pink eye” is caused mainly by fecal matter that contaminates the external eye structures through defecation or flatulence—or to put this more lightly, it is thought by society to be caused by passing gas onto a person’s eye. As amusing and entertaining as society finds the common infectious disease, conjunctivitis is a highly contagious and serious issue, and if not controlled, can lead to more serious problems. Conjunctivitis is defined in our Pathophysiology book as “an inflammation of the conjunctiva (mucous membrane covering the front part of the eyeball)” (McCance, 507). The conjunctiva is a thin membrane that serves as a protective barrier between the eyelids and the eyeball; it is maintained moist and clear of infection through the lacrimal apparatus, which produces tears to constantly irrigate the conjunctiva and drain the tears into the nasolacrimal sac (Jarvis, 280). The conjunctiva can be examined in the clinical setting by having the clinician pull down on the lower lids as the patient focuses his or her vision upward. The conjunctiva should appear moist and clear in an unaffected eye. The sclera, or the white portion of the eyeball which is protected by the conjunctiva, will be white in color and moist as well. In an eye diseased by conjunctivitis, there are “red, beefy-looking vessels” throughout the outer portion of the sclera, and are absent near the iris of the eye (Jarvis, 317). The Physical Examination and Health Assessment 6th Edition also explains that the eye will be crusty with pus-like discharge, and that the patient will report tender and...