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What is Conjunctivitis?

February 11, 2015

If you have ever woken up with itchy eyes accompanied by a thick, crusty discharge or green or yellow mucus coming from your eye then you may have the dreaded
“pink eye” or conjunctivitis.  Other symptoms that are experienced with conjunctivitis include:  redness in the whites of the eyes or the inner eyelid, blurriness, burning or even sensitivity to light.  If you are suffering from any of these symptoms then consult your primary care physician for a swab of the effected area.  While this disease is not a serious health risk it should be dealt with quickly through your doctors office.

What is conjunctivitis?

Conjunctivitis, also known as pinkeye, is an inflammation of the conjunctiva. The conjunctiva is the thin clear tissue that lies over the white part of the eye and lines the inside of the eyelid.

What causes pink eye?

This eye disease has several possible causes such as: a virus, a bacterial infection such as gonorrhea or chlamydia, irritants such as shampoos, dirt, smoke, and pool chlorine
or possibly allergies, like dust, pollen, or a special type of allergy that affects some contact lens wearers.

What treatments are available for pink eye?

The treatment proscribed by your doctor will depend mostly upon the cause of the disease.  If bacteria was the root cause then antibiotics, in the form of eye drops, ointments, or pills will be the treatment.  If a virus is the cause (such as the virus that causes the common cold) then it must run its course over the next 7-10 days.  Warm compresses can help with the discharge.  Throw away all contacts and makeup that you used during the period before being diagnosed.  If irritants or allergies are the cause of the discharge then washing out eyes and removing irritants from laundry, home or other areas that will affect your eyes.