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FAQ Frequently asked questions
What is conjunctivitis?
Conjunctivitis is sometimes also called pink eye. It is one of the most common conditions that affect the eyes. It occurs when the outer layer of the eye and the inside of the eyelids becomes inflamed. This may be caused by an infection, viruses or allergens.
What are the symptoms of conjunctivitis?
The main symptoms of conjunctivitis are red and irritated eyes, teary or watery eyes, pus around the eyes, swollen eyelids, sensitivity to light and itchy eyes. These symptoms may last from a couple of days to around three weeks.
What causes conjunctivitis?
Conjunctivitis occurs when the thin layer of cells that line your eye, called the conjunctiva, become inflamed. This can be caused by an infection with bacteria or viruses, or by allergens and other substances that come into contact with the eye and cause …
How is conjunctivitis treated?
The type of treatment depends on what is causing it. Mild conjunctivitis usually gets better on its own without treatment, while more severe cases are usually treated with medicated eye drops or ointments that are applied to the eye.
What is infective conjunctivitis?
Infective conjunctivitis is caused by bacteria or viruses that infect the eye. This can occur when your eye comes into contact with fluid from an infected person. Infective conjunctivitis is contagious and can be easily spread to other people.
How is conjunctivitis diagnosed?
To diagnose conjunctivitis, a doctor will examine the affected eyes. A diagnosis is usually made based on your symptoms. A doctor may also take a sample of fluid or pus from the affected eyes and send it to a laboratory for testing to work out the cause of …
Can conjunctivitis be prevented?
You may be able to reduce your chance of bacterial or viral conjunctivitis by practicing good hygiene. This may include washing your hands before touching anywhere near your eyes, using clean hands to handle contact lenses, cleaning towels regularly and not …
Is conjunctivitis contagious?
Conjunctivitis caused by bacteria or viruses can be contagious. It may be spread when your eye comes into contact with fluids from an infected person.
About this article
Author: Dr Joanne Van der Velden PhD, BSc (Hons)
First answered: 18 Sep 2014
Last reviewed: 14 May 2019
Rating: 4.1 out of 5
Votes: 888 (Click smiley face below left to rate)
Category: Pink eye