Conjunctivitis: Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

Eye Conditions: What is Conjunctivitis?

# conditions

What is Conjunctivitis?

Conjunctivitis is an eye condition that refers to inflammation of the thin, clear layer that lines the inner eyelid and covers the white part of the eye. Commonly referred to as ‘pink eye’ conjunctivitis can actually occur for several reasons with varying symptoms. Generally, if your eyes are inflamed due to conjunctivitis, they can heal themselves in about two weeks, however, if there are some instances when treatment is necessary. To best protect your vision from serious harm, it’s important to seek diagnosis from a medical professional. Our experienced eye doctors can assess your symptoms to help determine the cause of your inflammation and offer you treatment or provide you with further recommendations if needed.

Conjunctivitis Symptoms

The most common signs of conjunctivitis include:
  • Redness
  • Itching
  • A gritty or scratchy sensation
  • Watery eyes
  • Inflamed inner eyelids
  • Blurred vision
  • Pus-like or watery discharge
Depending on the cause of your eye inflammation, you may experience more mild or severe symptoms. Additionally, you may only experience some symptoms and not all symptoms.  

Common Causes of Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis most commonly occurs for one of several reasons:
  • Allergic reactions – In this case, inflammation and other symptoms generally occur due to a release of histamines that cause irritation to the eyes.
  • Chemical reactions – Exposure or contact with harmful acidic or alkali substances can result in a rapid onset of inflammation.
  • Bacterial infection – When bacteria is the cause of conjunctivitis, the onset is generally rapid and may elicit more uncomfortable symptoms that can spread from one eye to the other.
  • Viral infection – Like bacterial infections, viral infections can spread easily from one eye to the other.
Depending on the cause of your conjunctivitis, your symptoms may vary. Subsequently, your treatment options may also vary, so it’s important to seek a professional diagnosis if you wish to get the best treatment results for your condition.  

Conjunctivitis Treatment Options

For most patients, all forms of conjunctivitis can be cleared up on their own terms or with basic at-home care, such as taking antihistamines for allergies or rinsing irritants from your eyes during chemical exposure, but sometimes, infections can be more stubborn. Additionally, when our eyes cause us discomfort, even the simplest tasks can become challenging or impossible. In this case, waiting for an infection to clear up might not be ideal. In the case that your infection is not clearing up on its own or if your symptoms are more severe, Dr. Ryczek can provide you with treatment options. In many cases, conjunctivitis can be effectively treated with the right form of prescription eye drops. In more complex cases, our doctors can help you pursue additional treatment methods. If you are suffering from a stubborn or severe onset of conjunctivitis, schedule an appointment today to see how we can help you find relief. In the case of emergency, life-threatening conditions or serious medical necessity, always call 911.
Doctors who treat Conjunctivitis: Symptoms, Causes & Treatment
Alfred Lappano OD
Optometrist
Carli Ruckman OD
Optometrist
David E. Hall MD
General Ophthalmologist, Cataract Surgeon
Dennis C. Ryczek OD
Optometrist
Kimberly Chaney OD
Optometrist
Marielle Alcantara OD
Optometrist
Mark D. Oberlander MD
General Ophthalmologist, Cataract Surgeon
Nathan R. Emery MD
General Ophthalmologist, Cataract Surgeon
Salvatore Musumeci OD
Optometrist
Trudy K. Ramjattan MD
General Ophthalmologist, Cataract Surgeon
5 More Doctors
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