Conjunctivitis FAQs

What is conjunctivitis?

The disorder is marked by severe inflammation of the conjunctiva covering the white of the eye and the inner surface of the eyelid.

What are the causes of conjunctivitis?

Bacteria, virus, chemical irritants and allergic agents are the causative sources of eye discomfort.

Are there any significant features of conjunctivitis that makes it different from other conditions?

Affected patients always experience a sandy or scratchy sensation in the eye. Although swollen eyelids are commonly observed in some ophthalmological disorders, conjunctivitis causes pus or watery discharge from the eye.

Is conjunctivitis contagious?

Bacterial and viral infections of the eye are highly contagious. In most instances, sharing items such as towels, toiletries, washcloths and cosmetics is an easy mode of transmitting the infection. It is extremely important to regularly wash the hands with disinfectants in order to reduce the risk of infection.

Are there any methods available for ameliorating the symptoms of conjunctivitis?

Antibiotic eye drops or ointments can soothe the inflamed eyelids. Viral infections require specialized therapeutic measures for the eradication of the disease. Use of antihistamine drugs can stabilize the allergic reactions that cause swelling.

Is there a difference between a sticky eye and conjunctivitis in infants?

A blocked tear duct leads to a sticky eye in some neonates. This can be attributed to the amniotic fluid or skin cells. The eyelids stick together when there is a white or yellow discharge at the inner corners of the eyes. However, conjunctivitis is a result of external sources that directly affect the conjunctiva.

Do contact lenses increase vulnerability to conjunctivitis?

Certain chemicals and preservatives in contact lenses as well as in their cleaning solutions can give rise to irritation in the eyes. The eyelids of some people may frequently itch. The allergic response of these chemicals may trigger giant papillary conjunctivitis in which a large red bump develops under the eyelids.

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