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What is Conjunctivitis?

Conjuctivitis, also known as pink eye, is a medical condition that is characterized by the inflammation of the conjunctiva, the outermost layer of the eye and eyelids. Symptoms include blurred vision, pain in the eye and sensitivity to light. The most common cause of conjunctivitis is viral infection but there many other causes, such as prolonged use of contact lenses or allergy. Hence, the treatment will vary with the underlying cause. However, the prognosis is generally good provided treatment is sought and the offending allergen is removed (for allergic conjunctivitis). In many cases, the condition resolves on its own without intervention. However, if the discomfort is too great or the symptoms suddenly worsen, it would be prudent to consult a medical professional. Recurrence of conjunctivitis in the home or in a school is a common complication that can be avoided if proper hygiene practices are followed.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Conjunctivitis?

Signs and symptoms of Conjunctivitis may include:

  • Excessive tearing
  • Itchy eyes
  • Swollen or dilated blood vessels on the white portion of the eye, which cause the eye to appear red (bloodshot eyes)
  • Yellowish eye discharge that forms a crust during your sleep

What Causes Conjunctivitis?

Possible causes of Conjunctivitis are:

  • Bacterial infection
  • Eye irritants
  • Suffer from Allergy
  • Viral infection

What Increases the Risk of Conjunctivitis?

The risk of Conjunctivitis increases when you/your:

  • Come into contact with someone suffering from Conjunctivitis
  • Have frequent exposure to allergens
  • Wear contact lenses for a long period of time

What Complications Can Conjunctivitis Cause?

Conjunctivitis may result in the following complications:

  • Loss of vision

How Can You Prevent Conjunctivitis?

Conjunctivitis can be prevented if you/your:

  • Avoid sharing of personal items with an infected person
  • Discard eye cosmetics after use, such as eyeliner, eye shadow, mascara
  • Do not rub your eyes too often
  • Practice good personal hygiene

What Treatments are Available for Conjunctivitis?

Treatments and management of Conjunctivitis may vary depending on the individual patient and the severity of the medical condition. Treatment options may include:

  • Antibiotics
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