Ophthalmia neonatorum is a disease assumed to occur coincident with birth. Clinically, it always means some form of purulent inflammation of the conjunctiva. It has been variously denominated as catarrhal, mucopurulent, blenorrheal, and gonorrheal. It appears as a catarrhal or suppurative inflammation of the conjunctiva, attended with more or less swelling of the lids. It makes its appearance, according to Swanzy, from the second to the fifth day after birth. Noyes fixes the time "at about the third day, but may be delayed as late as the eighth day." Nettleship says it appears on the third day after birth. Fuchs says it appears, as a rule, on the second or third day. It is agreed by all writers on the subject that the disease occurs uniformly between the second and eighth day after birth.
Mode of Infection.
—It was formerly considered to be caused by improper exposure of the eyes
REYNOLDS DS. OPHTHALMIA NEONATORUM. JAMA. 1900;XXXIV(1):21–23. doi:10.1001/jama.1900.24610010021001d
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