What is Conjunctivitis?

Conjunctivitis, commonly known as pink eye, is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, the thin, transparent membrane that covers the white part of the eye and lines the inner surface of the eyelids. Here’s an overview of conjunctivitis symptoms, causes, and treatment


  1. Redness in the white part of the eye or inner eyelid
  2. Watery or mucous discharge from the eye
  3. Gritty sensation or itching in the eye
  4. Increased sensitivity to light (photophobia)
  5. Crusting of the eyelids or lashes, especially upon waking
  6. Swelling of the eyelids


  1. Viral Conjunctivitis: Most cases of conjunctivitis are viral and are often associated with the common cold or upper respiratory infections. Viral conjunctivitis is highly contagious and can spread through close contact with infected individuals or contaminated surfaces.
  2. Bacterial Conjunctivitis: Bacterial infections, typically caused by Staphylococcus aureus or Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria, can also lead to conjunctivitis. Bacterial conjunctivitis may occur independently or as a secondary infection following a viral cold or flu.
  3. Allergic Conjunctivitis: Allergies to pollen, dust mites, pet dander, or other environmental allergens can trigger allergic conjunctivitis. Symptoms usually occur in both eyes and may be accompanied by nasal congestion, sneezing, or other allergy symptoms.
  4. Chemical Irritants: Exposure to irritants such as smoke, chlorine in swimming pools, or harsh chemicals can cause irritant conjunctivitis, characterized by redness, burning, and tearing of the eyes.


  1. Viral Conjunctivitis: Since viral conjunctivitis is caused by a virus, treatment is usually supportive and focused on relieving symptoms. Applying cool compresses to the eyes, using artificial tears for lubrication, and practicing good hygiene to prevent the spread of infection are recommended.
  2. Bacterial Conjunctivitis: Bacterial conjunctivitis is typically treated with antibiotic eye drops or ointments to help clear the infection. It’s important to complete the full course of antibiotics as prescribed by a healthcare provider to prevent recurrence or resistance.
  3. Allergic Conjunctivitis: Avoiding known allergens and using antihistamine eye drops or oral medications can help alleviate symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis. Cold compresses and artificial tears may also provide relief.
  4. Irritant Conjunctivitis: Rinse the eyes with cool water or a sterile saline solution to flush out any irritants. Artificial tears can help soothe and lubricate the eyes, while avoiding further exposure to the irritant is essential.

In some cases, especially if symptoms are severe or persistent, a healthcare provider may recommend further evaluation and treatment. It’s essential to seek medical attention if you experience severe eye pain, vision changes, or symptoms that worsen despite home care measures. Additionally, practicing good hygiene, such as frequent handwashing and avoiding touching or rubbing the eyes, can help prevent the spread of conjunctivitis.