Also known as pink eye, when the inflammation of the outer layer of the eye is infectious, that is caused by germs such as virus or bacteria. But conjunctivitis can also be produced by allergic (pollen, animals, fabric), or chemical (air pollution, chlorine from swimming pools) agents.

Symptoms and signs

Redness, eyelid swelling, watery eyes, blurry vision, sandy eyes. Discharge can be present, puss like when the cause is bacteria or virus, mucous when allergic, or watery.

Treatment

Bacterian conjunctivitis usually require antibiotics drops. Virus ones don’t, but for symptom relief artificial tears and cold compresses can be used. Allergic conjunctivitis also benefit from those last ones, and sometimes more specific drops are needed in more severe cases. Same as in the chemical conjunctivitis, however in these cases the most important is to remove the agent that is causing the reaction.

In some cases the inflammation of the conjunctiva can extend to more internal or adjacent structures of the eye, making the condition more serious. For that reason is highly recommended to have the eyes checked by the optometrist to make sure the best treatment is received.

Prevention

Infectious conjunctivitis are contagious. It is advised to keep your hands away from eyes, wash hands frequently, avoid sharing towels, pillows, cosmetics, and other stuff that can be in touch with eyes. Children should not go social until the condition has resolved, since sometimes they forget these precautions.