Keratoconjunctivitis is inflammation (“itis”) of the cornea and conjunctiva.
When only the cornea is inflamed, it is called keratitis; when only the conjunctiva is inflamed, it is called conjunctivitis.
There are several potential causes of the inflammation:
* Keratoconjunctivitis sicca is used when the inflammation is due to dryness. (“Sicca” means “dryness” in medical contexts.)
* The term “Vernal keratoconjunctivitis” (VKC) is used to refer to keratoconjunctivitis occurring in spring, and is usually considered to be due to allergens.
* “Atopic keratoconjunctivitis” is one manifestation of atopy.
* “Epidemic keratoconjunctivitis” is caused by an adenovirus infection.
* “Infectious bovine keratoconjunctivitis” (IBK) is a disease affecting cattle caused by the bacteria Moraxella bovis.
* “Superior limbic keratoconjuctivitis” is thought to be caused by mechanical trauma.
* “Keratoconjunctivitis photoelectrica” (arc eye) means inflammation caused by UV light. This can be caused, by example, by welding without wearing protective eye glass. The inflammation will only appear after about 6 to 12 hours. It can be treated by rest, as the inflammation usually heals after 24-48 hours. Proper eye protection should be worn to prevent keratoconjunctivitis photoelectrica.