Conjunctivitis: Causes and Treatment :
Conjunctivitis, commonly known as “pink eye,” is
an inflammation of the conjunctiva, the thin, transparent layer that covers the
white part of the eye and lines the inner surface of the eyelids. It is a
prevalent eye condition that can affect people of all ages.
In this blog post, we’ll explain the causes, types,
symptoms, treatments, and preventive measures of conjunctivitis.
It is primarily caused by viruses, such as adenovirus, and
is highly contagious.
Caused by bacteria, most commonly Staphylococcus aureus and
Triggered by allergens like pollen, dust mites, pet dander,
or certain chemicals.
Caused by exposure to irritants like smoke, fumes, or
chlorine in swimming pools.
Characterized by redness, tearing, and watery discharge. It
can affect one or both eyes.
Often presents with a sticky, yellow, or greenish discharge
and can cause crusting of the eyelids.
Common symptoms include itching, redness, and excessive
tearing in both eyes.
Typically occurs when the eyes come into contact with
harmful substances, leading to immediate irritation.
• Redness of the eyes
• Watery or mucous discharge
• Itching or burning sensation
• Swelling of the eyelids
• Sensitivity to light
• Gritty feeling in the eyes
• Crusty eyelids upon waking (in bacterial conjunctivitis)
General treatment for conjunctivitis –
The treatment for viral conjunctivitis typically involves
managing symptoms and allowing the infection to run its course, as it is
usually self-limiting and resolves on its own.
Supportive care measures include :
• Applying warm compresses to soothe the eyes and reduce
• Using artificial tears or lubricating eye drops to
alleviate dryness and irritation.
• Practicing good hygiene, such as washing hands frequently
and avoiding touching the eyes to prevent the spread of the virus.
• Avoid the use of contact lenses until the infection has
cleared, as lenses may further irritate the eyes.
It is important to note that the treatment recommendations
may vary based on individual cases.
Viral Conjunctivitis :
It is typically self-limiting and may resolve on its own
within 1-2 weeks. Supportive care includes applying warm compresses and
artificial tears for comfort.
Bacterial Conjunctivitis :
Often treated with antibiotic eye drops or ointments
prescribed by a healthcare professional.
Allergic Conjunctivitis :
Avoidance of allergens is crucial. Over-the-counter
antihistamine eye drops can help alleviate symptoms.
Chemical Conjunctivitis :
Flushing the eyes with clean water is the first step. Seek
medical attention if symptoms persist
• Frequent handwashing can help prevent the spread of viral
and bacterial conjunctivitis.
• Avoid touching your eyes with unwashed hands.
• Refrain from sharing personal items like towels,
pillowcases, or eye makeup with others.
• Those with allergic conjunctivitis should identify and
• Use protective eyewear when working with chemicals or in
Remember, if you suspect conjunctivitis or experience
persistent eye irritation, consult a healthcare professional for proper
diagnosis and treatment. Prompt attention can help prevent complications and
ensure a swift recovery.
What Exactly Is Conjunctivitis?
Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the conjunctiva of your
eye, the clear, mucous membrane covering the white part of your eye and the
interior of your eyelid. Conjunctivitis can be mild or severe. In severe cases,
it can cause permanent damage to your eyes and vision.
What Causes This Pink Eye?
Conjunctivitis can be the result of a viral or bacterial
infection of the conjunctiva of your eye. Allergies and chemical irritations
can also cause conjunctivitis.
What Are the Diverse Types of Conjunctivitis?
Conjunctivitis can be divided into three types: viral,
bacterial, and allergic. Viral conjunctivitis often occurs in both eyes and may
precede or follow a bad cold. Viral pink eye causes your eyes to burn and
Bacterial conjunctivitis causes pain, inflammation,
discharge, and blurred vision. The discharge may form a crust over your eyes
while you sleep, making it difficult to open your eyes in the morning.
Allergic conjunctivitis is caused by environmental allergens
like mold, mildew, pollen, pet dander, and some types of cosmetics. Allergic
pink eye can cause itchiness, watering, swelling, and redness. You may also
experience nasal congestion or post-nasal drip with these symptoms.
Of the three, only bacterial and viral conjunctivitis are
contagious, spreading quickly by contact. If you’re having problems with your
eyes, your best recourse is to see your ophthalmologist for a checkup. We’ll
evaluate your condition and recommend options for treatment.
What are the most common causes of conjunctivitis in
Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, which
is usually caused by infection or allergy. It is frequently referred to as
“pink eye” and is the most common acute eye disorder seen by primary
care pediatricians and family physicians.
How to avoid spreading infections with conjunctivitis?
To avoid spreading infection, take these simple steps:
Disinfect surfaces such as doorknobs and counters with
diluted bleach solution
Don’t swim (some bacteria can be spread in the water)
Avoid touching the face
Wash hands frequently
Don’t share towels or washcloths
Do not reuse handkerchiefs (using a tissue is best)
Avoid shaking hands