Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis is the swelling of the conjunctiva. The conjunctiva is the thin membrane that covers the white part of the front of your eye and inside of your eyelids and. This is often called “pink eye”.

Symptoms of conjunctivitis

  • Itchiness
  • Mild blurred vision
  • Mild eyelid swelling
  • Eye irritation
  • Redness of the eye
  • Increased tearing, mucous or discharge

Types of conjunctivitis

There are three types of conjunctivitis:

  • Bacterial conjunctivitis
    It is contagious, can be spread from one person to another. It causes a red eye with a lot of pus. You may experience difficulty in opening your eyes because of the thickness. A few may go onto to have permanent decrease in visual acuity.
  • Viral conjunctivitis
    It is highly contagious and usually associated with flu-like symptoms. It can occur on its own and normally self-limiting. Vision can be affected in a minority. A few may go onto to have permanent decrease in visual acuity.
  • Allergic conjunctivitis
    It is not contagious and is caused by the body’s reaction to an allergen or irritant. Some of the symptoms are burning, tearing, redness of the conjunctiva and puffy eyelids.

Treatment for conjunctivitis

Seek urgent medical attention if your vision is affected or if there is pain. Your eye specialist will treat you according to what he diagnoses as the root cause of conjunctivitis, ie, bacterial, viral or allergic.

How can I reduce the risk of getting conjunctivitis?

  • Wash your hands often
  • Avoid touching your eyes with your hands
  • Change your pillowcase, towels and handkerchiefs frequently
  • Do not share eye cosmetics, utensils, towels with anyone
  • Clean your contact lenses properly
  • Do not wear contact lenses when you have a red or pink eye