What is Conjunctivitis?

What is Conjunctivitis?

March 7, 2022  |  eye disease, vision care
A girl holding her eye

Conjunctivitis is one of the most common issues people experience with their eyes.  


Sometimes called “pink eye,” conjunctivitis is an issue in the eye that results in inflammation of the thin membrane (the conjunctiva) that lines the eyelid and the whites of the eye.  


Unlike other common eye issues, conjunctivitis does not have one single cause. Instead, this disease can be caused by many different stimuli that all result in the same irritation.  


Conjunctivitis is highly visible and can easily disrupt its victims' daily lives or spread to those in close contact with the victim. Because of this, sufferers must seek treatment immediately.  


In this post, we will go over the causes of conjunctivitis, and how to prevent it from spreading.  


The Causes of Conjunctivitis 


Conjunctivitis occurs when the conjunctiva membrane that protects the inner eyelid and the whites of the eyes becomes irritated by outside stimulation.  


The small blood vessels in the conjunctiva become red, inflamed, and highly visible.  


The victim’s vision is rarely affected and, if treated properly, there are no long-term effects.  


Some forms of conjunctivitis are contagious, so those in close contact with sufferers should take all the proper sanitary precautions possible to ensure that the infection is not spread to them.  


Seek treatment as soon as you notice symptoms to stop the spread, and to find more immediate relief. 


Common causes of conjunctivitis include: 

  • Viruses 

  • Bacteria 

  • Allergies 

It is important to remember that there is not one singular cause of conjunctivitis. Conjunctivitis can develop from numerous viruses, bacteria, or irritants. Only a doctor can accurately diagnose you.  


How do I know if I Have Conjunctivitis? 


The severity of conjunctivitis varies from person to person. In the most severe cases, conjunctivitis is recognizable by itchy, gritty eyes, and an unnatural redness in the whites of the eye. In mild cases, sufferers may not be aware that they are infected.  


Gooey discharge is also common. Discharge develops at night and can cause the eye to glue itself shut when the victim awakes in the morning.  


Here is a full list of conjunctivitis symptoms: 


  • Redness in one or both eyes 

  • Itchiness in one or both eyes 

  • A persistent gritty feeling in the eye 

  • Consistent discharge that can form a crust over the eye at night 

  • Constant tearing 


What to do if you Have Conjunctivitis 


If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms, then it is time to schedule an appointment with your optometrist or family practice professional.  


Medical help is especially important in cases of viral conjunctivitis as it is contagious and can easily spread to family and friends if left untreated.  


Family Vision Care in Oxford is the perfect place to go if you are suffering from conjunctivitis. Dr. Collins has been practicing optometry for decades and he has the skills and experience needed to help stop your suffering now.  


Schedule an appointment with Oxford Family Vision Care now!