Conjunctivitis, or pink eye, is an irritation or inflammation of the conjunctiva, the thin clear tissue that lies over the white part of the eye and lines the inside of the eyelid. It can be caused by allergies or a bacterial or viral infection. Conjunctivitis can be extremely contagious and is spread by contact with eye secretions from someone who is infected.
Causes of Conjunctivitis
▪︎Irritants such as shampoos, dirt, smoke, and pool chlorine
▪︎A reaction to eye drops
▪︎An allergic reaction to things like pollen, dust, or smoke. Or it could be due to a special type of allergy that affects some people who wear contact lenses.
▪︎Fungi, amoebas, and parasites
“Pinkeye” or more commonly “apollo” isn’t an official medical term. Most eye doctors would probably associate the term pinkeye with mild conjunctivitis caused by bacteria or a virus.
Symptoms of Conjunctivitis
They depend on the cause of the inflammation, but may include:
▪︎Redness in the white of the eye or inner eyelid
▪︎More tears than usual
▪︎Thick yellow discharge that crusts over the eyelashes
▪︎Green or white discharge from the eye
▪︎More sensitive to light
▪︎Swollen lymph nodes (often from a viral infection)
Treatment of pink eye
It’s important to stop wearing contact lenses whilst affected by conjunctivitis. It often resolves on its own, but treatment can speed the recovery process. Allergic conjunctivitis can be treated with antihistamines. Bacterial conjunctivitis can be treated with antibiotic eye drops.
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