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|Eye with Conjunctivitis|
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- Viral infection
- Bacterial infection, such as staphylococcus or streptococcus
- Allergic reaction, usually related to seasonal allergies
Chemical irritation caused by:
- Air pollutants
- Other chemicals
- Contact with a person who has conjunctivitis
- Sharing towels, linens, or other objects (even doorknobs) with an infected person
- Exposure to chemical or environmental irritants
- Contact lenses , especially if contacts are not cleaned and stored properly
- Age: more common in children
- Seasonal allergies or contact with known allergens
- Red, watery eyes
- Swollen inner eyelids
- Scratchy feeling in the eyes
- Itchy eyes
- Pus-like or watery discharge
- Swelling of the eyelid
- Applying warm compresses
- Artificial tears (found in pharmacies)
Allergic or Chemical Irritation
To Prevent Further Spread of Infection
- Keep hands away from your face and do not rub your eyes.
- Change pillowcases and towels every night.
- Do not share pillows or towels.
- Wash hands frequently.
- Avoid shaking hands with others.
- Avoid swimming.
- Carefully clean away any discharge with warm water and clean cotton (or gauze) and immediately discard.
- Do not share makeup or eye drops with anyone else.
- Avoid sharing towels, washcloths, pillows, and handkerchiefs,
- Wash your hands frequently. Keep your hands away from your eyes.
- Clean contact lenses daily. Never sleep with them unless approved by your eye doctor.
- In case of allergic conjunctivitis, avoid the allergy causing substances and irritants.
American Optometric Association http://www.aoanet.org/
Family Doctor.org http://familydoctor.org/
Canadian Family Physician http://www.cfp.ca/
Canadian Ophthalmological Society http://www.eyesite.ca/
Infectious conjunctivitis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php . Updated July 16, 2012. Accessed November 6, 2012.
Conjunctivitis. American Academy of Pediatrics Health Children website. Available at: http://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/eyes/Pages/Conjunctivitis-Pink-Eye.aspx . Updated May 26, 2011. Accessed November 6, 2012.
Viral conjunctivitis. Review of Optometry. 2001.
- Reviewer: Brian Randall, MD
- Review Date: 11/2012
- Update Date: 11/26/2012