Did you know that conjunctivitis (also known as “pink eye”) is the most common eye disease? It is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, the membrane that covers the white part of the eye and the inside of the eyelid. When inflammation occurs, the blood vessels dilate, giving the impression that the white part of the eye has turned pink or red.

The most common types of conjunctivitis are:

Bacterial conjunctivitis
This form of conjunctivitis is caused by bacteria. Symptoms include redness in the whites of the eye and yellowish or greenish discharge that causes your eyelids to stick together when you wake up. Vision may be slightly blurry, and you may experience a burning sensation.

Viral conjunctivitis
Viral conjunctivitis is caused by an adenovirus that is often associated with sinus and throat infections and accompanied by a cough. The primary symptoms are severe or moderate redness, sometimes with whitish discharge. Follicles or small bumps may appear under the lower eyelid. It is important to avoid touching the face or hands of a person with this form of conjunctivitis or any objects they have used because the condition is very contagious.

Allergic conjunctivitis 
Allergic conjunctivitis is well known to hay fever sufferers and causes moderate redness with discharge and swelling of the eyelids. Symptoms are mainly tingling and watering of the eyes in addition to allergy symptoms like sneezing.

Treatment for conjunctivitis depends on the cause. Artificial tears or an antihistamine solution may relieve allergic conjunctivitis. However, if the cause is bacterial, an ointment or antibiotic solution is usually recommended. In all cases, consult your Opto-Réseau eye care professional if you think you have conjunctivitis. They will advise you about the right course of treatment.