Crusty, Goopy, Itchy

Those are three ways that people commonly describe conjunctivitis or “pink eye.” If you have ever had this type of eye infection, you know how much of a nuisance it can be and how the symptoms can be both icky and painful.  In short, conjunctivitis is the infection of the conjunctiva which is the layer of tissue that lines the inner surface of the eyelid and covers the white part of the eye. A resulting infection causes a build up of crusty goopy discharge coming from one or both eyes. Let’s look at conjunctivitis and find out its causes, types and treatments.

Common Symptoms of Conjunctivitis – The first step to treating this eye disease is to look at the symptoms to be sure that there is not another underlying eye disorder that is causing the crusty build up on the eyelid of your eye – like a blocked tear duct or different infection.  Consult with your doctor to confirm your suspicions.

  • A gritty feeling in one or both eyes
  • Itching or burning sensation in one or both eyes
  • Excessive tearing
  • Discharge coming from one or both eyes
  • Swollen eyelids
  • Pink discoloration to the whites of one or both eyes
  • Sensitivity to bright lights

Types and Treatments  of Conjunctivitis – Causes of conjunctivitis range from environmental irritants like shampoos, smoke, pool chlorine and dirt to allergens like pollen and dust and even viral or bacterial infections.  There are three main classifications of of this particular eye disorder including: bacterial, viral, and allergen.

  • Bacterial Conjunctivitis – Pink Eye that is caused by a bacteria can be treated with eye drops or ointments applied directly to the eye usually for several days, several times a day.  The infection, if it is bacterial in nature should clear up within the week.
  • Viral Conjunctivitis – Pink Eye that is caused by a virus in the eye may be similar to a virus that causes the common cold. This type of pink eye tends to be very contagious.  To avoid contaminating others wash hands frequently, throw out used make up and possibly used contacts.  Infected patients should also avoid contact with others.
  • Allergen Conjunctivitis – Allergy-associated conjunctivitis should improve once the allergy is treated and the allergen removed. See your doctor if you have conjunctivitis that is linked to an allergy.



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