Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
Introduction to Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
Conjunctivitis is inflammation of the conjunctiva, the outermost layer of tissue in the eye.
What is Conjunctivitis (pink eye)?
Conjunctivitis is inflammation of the conjunctiva, the outermost layer of tissue in the eye. It is also known as pink eye or red eye and generally it will pass without causing any complications.
What causes pink eye?
Conjunctivitis is caused by a bacterial or viral infection of the conjunctiva. The conjunctiva is a membrane that covers the surface of the eye and the inside of the eyelids. It secretes mucous and tears that help clean and lubricate the eye.
You are more at risk if you have recently had a sore throat or cold, or on certain steroidal medications. Additionally, the condition is more prevalent at the extremes of age, the very young and old.
What are the symptoms of pink eye?
The main symptoms associated with conjunctivitis are redness of the eyes and watering, not unlike if you had something stuck under the eyelid. The inflammation will cause redness as it does with inflammation of any other part of the body due to the dilation of blood vessels. Depending on the type of conjunctivitis you may also have symptoms such as a sandy, sticky substance in the eye, a painful burning feeling or if viral conjunctivitis a fever and sore throat.
How is pink eye treated?
Treatment will depend on the causative agent but it can include eye drops, antibiotics and cotton wool with irrigation fluid to help clean the eye or any residues.