Conjunctivitis or Pinkeye

Pinkeye or conjunctivitis is one of the most common eye conditions experienced in children and in many adults.  It is an eye condition that causes redness and itching in the infected eye.  It may also cause inflammation in the eye.  This eye condition may also cause swelling.   In some instances there may be a clear, white, yellow or greenish liquid that accumulates in the eye.

Pinkeye gets its name from the fact that the white part of the eye and the inside of the eyelids becomes pink when a person is infected with this eye condition.  This eye condition may infect one eye and it is easily spread to the other eye if the disease is the infectious form.

When infected with pinkeye, there is generally no pain.  However, with this eye condition, the infected eye generally becomes itchy and may give the feeling that there is something caught in the eye such as an eyelash.

Causes of Pinkeye (Conjunctivitis)
Pinkeye may be caused by bacteria or a virus.  This type of pinkeye is typically referred to as infectious conjunctivitis.

Pinkeye may also be caused by allergies.  This type of pinkeyes is typically referred to as allergic conjunctivitis.

Pinkeye may also be caused by irritants that enter the eye.

Treatment of Pinkeye (Conjunctivitis)
The treatment for pinkeye (conjunctivitis) will vary based on the type of conjunctivitis diagnosed.  If the pinkeye is bacterial or viral, your doctor may prescribe antibiotic eye drops or cream.  If the pinkeye does not respond to the antibiotic treatment, the symptoms may be relieved by over the counter medications.  The eye condition may simply have to run its full course and the eye condition may clear itself over time.

If the irritation is allergic conjunctivitis, your doctor may prescribe antihistamines, decongestants, mast cell stabilizers, steroids and anti-inflammatory drops.  If the pinkeye is caused from another irritant entering the eye, your doctor may flush your eye to remove the irritant.

While pinkeye (conjunctivitis) is not a serious eye condition, caution and care must be given because this disease is contagious.  It can be passed from person to person through touch.  It is advisable to use separate hand  towels and face cloths while the pinkeye is present and to avoid placing your hands near your eyes in case you have come into contact with the bacteria or virus that has caused this eye condition.