The change from summer to fall and winter brings different problems to each of us. For some, the seasonal changes bring the all-too-familiar allergies, colds, and flu. For others it brings conjunctivitis, an inflammation of the conjunctiva. The conjunctiva is a thin, transparent layer that covers the inner eyelid and the white part of the eye.
The symptoms of conjunctivitis can run from annoying to painful, and include:
There are 5 types of conjunctivitis:
The best way to treat allergic and chemical conjunctivitis is to remove the allergen or pollutant from your daily environment. You should also:
Both bacterial and viral conjunctivitis are contagious. If you get either of these types of conjunctivitis, measures should be taken to avoid spreading the condition to your other eye or to other people. These measures include:
Conjunctivitis will often go away by itself, but if not, it can be cured relatively easily. However certain types of conjunctivitis, if left untreated, can cause permanent damage to your cornea and impair your vision permanently. You should immediately seek treatment if:
American Academy of Ophthalmology
National Eye Institute (NEI)
The College of Family Physicians of Canada
Allergic conjunctivitis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115480/Allergic-conjunctivitis. Updated June 22, 2016. Accessed August 3, 2017.
Facts about pink eye. National Eye Institute (NEI) website. Available at: https://nei.nih.gov/health/pinkeye/pink_facts. Updated November 2015. Accessed August 3, 2017.
Infectious conjunctivitis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T116741/Infectious-conjunctivitis. Updated July 15, 2016. Accessed August 3, 2017.
Neonatal conjunctivitis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114334/Neonatal-conjunctivitis. Updated December 22, 2015. Accessed August 3, 2017.
Overview of conjunctivitis. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/eye-disorders/conjunctival-and-scleral-disorders/overview-of-conjunctivitis. Updated September 2016. Accessed August 3, 2017.
Last reviewed August 2017 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Michael Woods, MD, FAAP
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Copyright © 2012 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.
What can we help you find?close ×