Health Conditions Explained: Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis)

Pink eye, also known as conjunctivitis, is a common eye infection that affects millions of people every year. It is an inflammation of the protective outer layer of the eye, called the conjunctiva. Pink eye can be caused by a variety of factors, including viruses, bacteria, allergens, and irritants. In this article, we will explore what pink eye is, its causes, symptoms, treatment, prevention, and more. Read on to learn everything you need to know about this common eye condition.

Human Eye - pink eye

What is Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis)?

Pink eye is a condition that occurs when the conjunctiva becomes inflamed. The conjunctiva is a thin, transparent membrane that lines the inside of the eyelid and covers the white part of the eye. When the conjunctiva becomes inflamed, it can cause redness, itching, and discharge from the eye. Pink eye is usually not a serious condition, but it can be uncomfortable and contagious, so it is important to treat it promptly.

6562818 Eye disease. Ophthalmology health illustration.

There are several different types of pink eye, including viral, bacterial, and allergic conjunctivitis. Viral conjunctivitis is the most common type and is caused by a virus, while bacterial conjunctivitis is caused by bacteria. Allergic conjunctivitis is caused by an allergic reaction to substances like pollen or pet dander. It is important to determine the type of pink eye you have in order to receive the appropriate treatment.

Viral conjunctivitis is the most common form and is usually caused by a virus such as the common cold. Bacterial conjunctivitis is less common but can be more severe and may require antibiotics. Allergic conjunctivitis is caused by an allergy to pollen, dust mites, or other allergens. Irritant conjunctivitis is caused by exposure to chemicals, smoke, or other irritants.

It is important to note that conjunctivitis can also be a symptom of other underlying conditions such as dry eye syndrome, blepharitis, or uveitis. These conditions require different treatments and it is important to consult with an eye doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment. Additionally, conjunctivitis can be highly contagious and it is important to practice good hygiene, such as washing hands frequently and avoiding touching the eyes, to prevent the spread of infection.

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