What is Conjunctivitis (pink eye)?
Conjunctivitis can happen to anyone at any age. It’s one of the most common eye infections, and it’s often seen in young children. It often appears as a red, swelling of the eye with possible discharge. If you’ve never had pink eye, consider yourself lucky! Although it rarely causes pain or long-term damage, it can be really unpleasant and annoying.
Some forms of conjunctivitis are caused by passing germs such as bacteria or viruses. This is called infective conjunctivitis, and it’s very contagious. Allergic conjunctivitis, on the other hand, is caused by allergic reactions to dust mites, pollen, or other irritating substances — and isn't contagious.
Symptoms range from inconvenient to downright uncomfortable, but the good news is that it’s rarely very painful. The most common symptoms of pink eye or conjunctivitis are tearing, itching, redness, discharge, and swelling of the eye.
Your eye care professional can offer conjunctivitis treatments, such as antibiotic eye drops, anti-allergy medications, or lubricating eye drops. Warm compresses can ease irritation and remove discharge around the eye. It’s important to put your contact lenses away until your symptoms have cleared up. And don’t even think about eye makeup!
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