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Purulent conjunctivitis should have a degree of significance to the physician according to the character of the infection and the age of the patient. While there are many varying degrees of intensity, for clinical purposes, it is best to recognize but two causes; the gonorrheal and the endemic.
The gonorrheal is most malignant and intractable; it seldom occurs in both eyes simultaneously. It is most common in adults, and is the result of contagion. The endemic is equally contagious and differs in its clinical features from the gonorrheal type in degree of severity and extent of invasion. In gonorrheal inflammation, the cocci not only attack the mucous corpuscles and surface epithelium, but penetrate quickly into the mucous follicles, which become greatly distended, causing such interruption in the circulation of the blood in the capillary coils surrounding the follicles that great edema is quickly set up, producing a degree of swelling
REYNOLDS DS. PURULENT OPHTHALMIA. JAMA. 1896;XXVI(2):70–72. doi:10.1001/jama.1896.02430540022002h
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