Conjunctivitis is an inflammation or infection of the conjunctiva, the thin transparent layer of tissue that lines the inner surface of the eyelid and covers the white part of the eye. Conjunctivitis, often called “pink eye,” is a common eye disease, especially in children. It may affect one or both eyes. Some forms of conjunctivitis can be highly contagious and easily spread in schools and at home. While conjunctivitis is usually a minor eye infection, sometimes it can develop into a more serious problem.
Conjunctivitis may be caused by a viral or bacterial infection. It can also occur due to an allergic reaction to irritants in the air like pollen and smoke, chlorine in swimming pools, and ingredients in cosmetics or other products that come in contact with the eyes. Sexually transmitted diseases like Chlamydia and gonorrhea are less common causes of conjunctivitis.
People with conjunctivitis may experience the following symptoms:
-> A gritty feeling in one or both eyes
-> Itching or burning sensation in one or both eyes
-> Excessive tearing
-> Discharge coming from one or both eyes
-> Swollen eyelids
-> Pink discoloration to the whites of one or both eyes
-> Increased sensitivity to light
Types of Conjunctivitis:
Since the term Conjunctivitis is a broad term, there are specific types when discussing this condition.
There are three main types of Conjunctivitis.
1. Allergic Conjunctivitis
2. Infectious Conjunctivitis (This form is caused by bacteria and viruses.)
3. Chemical Conjunctivitis