Conjunctivitis is a condition in which the inner lining of the eyelid and the mucous membrane that covers the eyeball become inflamed. It can be infectious and has many different causes. Infectious conjunctivitis can be highly contagious and is common in children.

What causes Conjunctivitis?

Bacterial Conjunctivitis
The Most common cause of conjunctivitis is infection with bacteria such as staphylococci, pneumococci or streptococci. Bacterial conjunctivitis is very common in children, and may occur after a viral illness, such as a cold.
Viral Conjunctivitis
In Many cases, viral conjunctivitis is associated with the symptoms of a cold. Viral conjunctivitis is also highly contagious, particularly among children.
Allergic Conjunctivitis
This is most common in the spring and early summer when the pollen count is high. Other causes of allergic conjunctivitis may be household pets, dust, perfume or cosmetics.

What are the symptoms of Conjunctivitis?

In bacterial conjunctivitis, the eyes become swollen and red and are usually painful. There may be a sticky discharge from the eyes, which can vary from a moderate to a large amount. This discharge may cause the eyelids to become stuck together after sleep. The eyes may also be irritated and sensitive to light.

Viral conjunctivitis usually causes a watery discharge, unlike the sticky discharge caused by a bacterial infection. The eyes also become red and feel uncomfortable.

Allergic conjunctivitis is usually accompanied by other symptoms of allergy such as itchy eyes and excessive tear production. There may also be sneezing and an itchy or runny nose.