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.
There are several different types of conjunctivits including:
- Allergic conjunctivits
- Infectious conjunctivitis (bacterial, viral)
- Chemical conjunctivitis
Individuals who wear contact lenses may also suffer from a type of chronic conjunctivitis. Your optometrist may need to change the type of contact lens or disinfection solution. Practicing good hygiene is the best way to control the spread of conjunctivitis. Once an infection has been diagnosed, follow these steps:
- Don't touch your eyes with your hands
- Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently
- Discard cosmetics, particularly mascara
- Follow your eye doctor's instructions on proper contact lens care
Treatment for conjunctivitis may include antibiotic eye drops, allergy eye drops or pallative care.