Inflammation of the conjunctiva of the eye as a result of allergies, exposure to a toxic substance, a bacterial infection, or a viral infection.
Signs and Symptoms:
Increased discharge, often yellow in color; burning, irritation, increased tearing, swelling of eye lids, crusting or matting on eyelashes in the morning, light sensitivity, and itching.
NOTE: All symptoms will not be present with all infections.
Diagnosis and treatment:
Diagnosis is made by an examination of the eye and history of signs and symptoms. Treatment may include antibiotics, but varies depending on the nature of the infection.
NOTE: Viral and bacterial conjunctivitis are extremely contagious and great care should be taken not to spread this illness. Do not touch the affected eye and then subsequently touch the other eye or any surface. Wash hands immediately after touching eyes and avoid touching the eyes or face to prevent contracting this illness. Conjunctivitis virus can live on surfaces such as tables for up to 3 weeks.