Conjunctivitis

What is conjunctivitis?

Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, the thin, transparent layer covering the surface of the inner eyelid and a portion of the front of the eye. This condition appears in many forms and affects people of all ages. 

What causes conjunctivitis?

The three main types of conjunctivitis are infectious, allergic and chemical. The infectious form, commonly known as “pink eye” is caused by a contagious virus or bacteria. Your body’s allergies to pollen, cosmetics, animals or fabrics often bring on allergic conjunctivitis. And, irritants like air pollution, noxious fumes and chlorine in swimming pools may produce the chemical form. 

What are the signs/symptoms of conjunctivitis?

Common signs/symptoms of conjunctivitis are red eyes, inflamed inner lids, watery eyes, blurred vision and a sandy or scratchy feeling in the eyes. With the infectious form, there may be a puss-like or watery discharge around the eyelids. Since Infectious conjunctivitis is contagious, what measures can be taken to prevent spreading this condition? To avoid giving infectious conjunctivitis to others, keep your hands away from your eyes; thoroughly wash your hands before and after applying eye medication; do not share towels, flannels, cosmetics or eyedrops with others and seek treatment promptly. Small children, who may forget these precautions, should be kept away from school and the swimming pool until the condition is cured.