Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, is the inflammation of the transparent membrane that lines the inside of the eyelid and covers the white part of the eye. It can be caused by viruses, bacteria, allergens, or other irritants. The condition may result in redness, irritation, and discharge from the eyes.

Conjunctivitis FAQ

What is conjunctivitis?

Conjunctivitis, commonly known as pink eye, is the inflammation of the conjunctiva, resulting in redness, irritation, and discharge from the eyes.

Is conjunctivitis contagious?

Yes, conjunctivitis can be highly contagious, especially if it's caused by a virus or bacteria. It's important to take precautions to prevent spreading the infection.

What are the common symptoms of conjunctivitis?

Common symptoms include redness, itching, a gritty feeling, excessive tearing, and discharge that forms a crust during the night.

How is conjunctivitis treated?

Treatment depends on the cause. While viral conjunctivitis often clears up on its own, bacterial conjunctivitis may require antibiotic eye drops or ointment. Allergic conjunctivitis may be treated with antihistamines or anti-inflammatory medications.

Can I wear contact lenses with conjunctivitis?

It's best to avoid wearing contact lenses until the symptoms have completely resolved to prevent further irritation and potential spread of the infection.

Is it necessary to see a doctor for conjunctivitis?

It's advisable to seek medical advice, especially if you or your child experiences conjunctivitis symptoms. A healthcare professional can determine the cause and recommend an appropriate treatment plan.

What measures can be taken to alleviate conjunctivitis symptoms at home?

Applying a clean, warm compress to the affected eye, using over-the-counter lubricating eye drops, and avoiding rubbing the eyes can provide comfort and help manage symptoms.

How long does conjunctivitis last?

The duration of conjunctivitis depends on the underlying cause. Viral conjunctivitis may last for a week or two, while bacterial conjunctivitis often improves within a few days of starting treatment.

Can conjunctivitis affect both eyes?

Yes, conjunctivitis can affect one or both eyes. If only one eye is affected initially, it's important to take precautions to prevent the other eye from becoming infected.

Can conjunctivitis occur in babies?

Yes, conjunctivitis can occur in infants and young children. It's important to seek prompt medical advice if any signs of conjunctivitis are observed in a baby.

What causes viral conjunctivitis?

Viral conjunctivitis is commonly caused by adenoviruses, which are highly contagious and can spread through respiratory secretions or by touching surfaces contaminated with the virus.

How can bacterial conjunctivitis be diagnosed?

A healthcare professional may take a medical history, examine the eyes, and collect a sample of the eye discharge for further analysis to diagnose bacterial conjunctivitis.

What are the complications of untreated conjunctivitis?

If left untreated, conjunctivitis can lead to serious complications, such as corneal inflammation, vision problems, or the spread of infection to other parts of the body.

Can conjunctivitis result from allergens?

Yes, allergic conjunctivitis can be triggered by exposure to allergens like pollen, pet dander, dust mites, or certain substances in the environment.

Is there a risk of re-infection after recovering from conjunctivitis?

There may be a risk of re-infection, especially in cases of bacterial conjunctivitis. It's important to follow proper hygiene practices and complete the prescribed course of treatment to reduce the risk of re-infection.

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