Conjuctivitis (Pink Eye) : Symptoms, Causes, & Treatment

Conjuctivitis (Pink Eye)  Symptoms, Causes, & Treatment
30 Nov 2022
5 mins
Table Of Content
Conjuctivitis (Pink Eye) : Symptoms, Causes, & Treatment

    What Is Conjunctivitis?


    Conjunctivitis is the inflammation or infection that occurs in the conjunctiva. The conjunctiva is a thin, transparent layer of tissue that lines the eyelid area and also covers the white portion of the eyeballs. Conjunctivitis is otherwise also called as pink eye and usually caused due to inflammation and irritation in the eyes.


    Let’s explore more about conjunctivitis. 


    What Are The Symptoms Of Conjunctivitis?


    Some most common conjunctivitis symptoms or pink eye symptoms include the following, 


    • Redness in the white part of the eye or the inner eyelid in one or both the eyes
    • Excessive tearing in the eyes
    • Itching in one or both eyes
    • Feeling of grittiness in one or both the eyes
    • A yellowish-colored discharge from the eyes that dries and crusts put in the night and may prevent the eyes from opening in the morning
    • Blurred vision
    • Increased light sensitivity
    • Swelling in the eyelids


    Causes And Risk Factors Of Conjunctivitis


    There are three types of conjunctivitis that may cause inflammation in the eye. They are allergic conjunctivitis, infectious conjunctivitis, and chemical conjunctivitis. 


    1. Allergic Conjunctivitis 


    Allergic conjunctivitis is commonly seen in people having seasonal allergies. Allergic conjunctivitis develops when people who are prone to allergies come in contact with allergens like pollen, dust, or mold. 


    Giant papillary conjunctivitis is a type of conjunctivitis that occurs when people wear hard contact lenses or soft contact lenses and do not change their water or do not change the lenses frequently.


    2. Infectious Conjunctivitis 


    • Bacterial Conjunctivitis: The conjunctivitis that is caused by staphylococcal or streptococcal bacterial infection is called bacterial conjunctivitis. The most common modes of passing the infection are when people use dirty hands to touch or rub their eyes, share makeup or come in physical contact with a person who is already infected with conjunctivitis.


    • Viral Conjunctivitis: Mostly common cold viruses cause viral conjunctivitis. The viral infection spreads when an infected person sneezes or coughs near a healthy person. Viral conjunctivitis may also happen when a person with a common cold blows their nose forcefully, which causes the virus to move to the eyes from the respiratory system.


    3. Chemical Conjunctivitis


    Chemical conjunctivitis occurs when there is inflammation and irritation caused to the eyes due to chemical exposure like exposure to air pollution, chlorine from swimming pools, sensitivity to cosmetics, or irritation from shampoos, etc. 


    Is Conjunctivitis Contagious?


    Yes, bacterial and viral conjunctivitis are highly contagious and can easily affect another person. 


    Treatment For Conjunctivitis


    The treatment given for conjunctivitis is dependent on its cause. Depending on the cause of conjunctivitis, the following conjunctivitis treatment may be given,


    • Bacterial Conjunctivitis:  For people having bacterial conjunctivitis, antibiotics are the most common and effective method of treatment. Antibiotic eye drops or ointments may be prescribed by the doctor for treating bacterial conjunctivitis.
    • Viral Conjunctivitis: There aren’t any eye drops or ointments available to treat viral conjunctivitis. Just like a common cold, the infection will resolve once it has run its course. However, symptomatic relief can be achieved by using cold compression or warm cloth compression. You can also consult a doctor who will prescribe you medicines that will provide symptomatic relief.
    • Allergic Conjunctivitis: The most important thing for treating allergic conjunctivitis is to avoid contact with the allergen causing the inflammation. Cold compressions and artificial tears can also help in providing symptomatic relief. Apart from that, you may also get anti-inflammatory or antihistamine medicines prescribed by the doctor.
    • Chemical Conjunctivitis: Carefully washing the eyes with saline is the most common treatment approach for chemical conjunctivitis. Apart from this, topical steroids may also be used in case of severe chemical conjunctivitis.


    Take Away 


    Conjunctivitis is the inflammation or infection that occurs in the conjunctiva. Conjunctivitis or pink eye may be caused due to infection, chemical exposure, or an allergic reaction. In most cases, cold compression and application of the eye drops or ointments prescribed by the doctor help in giving symptomatic relief. 


    Bacterial and viral conjunctivitis are highly contagious. Hence, proper precautionary measures are to be followed by the person infected to prevent it from spreading to others. Avoiding the practice of touching the eyes and face with dirty hands, washing the hands properly with a hand wash or soap, using products that are safe and dermatologically tested, using clean bedsheets, hand and face towels, makeup brushes, and products, etc. are some preventive measures that can help in preventing the contraction of conjunctivitis. 


    Written by
    Arwa. AliakberContent Writer
    Tags :ConjunctivitisPink eyeConjunctivitis symptomsConjunctivitis treatment