Conjunctivitis is an eye infection more commonly known as pink eye, which is an inflammation of the conjuctiva. The conjuctiva is a clear tissue over the white part of the eye and the eyelid. It can be caused by bacteria, viruses, allergens, or irritants.

The symptoms of conjunctivitis include:

  • Redness on the white part of the eye or the eyelid;
  • Excess tears;
  • Yellow crust that accumulates on the eyelashes and outer eye;
  • Discolored (green or white) discharge from the eye;
  • Swollen eyelids;
  • Itchy eyes;
  • Burning eyes;
  • Sensitivity to light.

Three Types of Conjunctivitis

  1. Allergic Conjunctivitis: People who are susceptible to allergies often experience this after an allergy trigger.
  2. Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis: A form of allergy related conjunctivitis that results from a foreign body in the eye. It often occurs in people who wear hard contact lenses or who do not frequently replace soft contact lenses.
  3. Bacterial Conjunctivitis: This form usually results from a staphylococcal or streptococcal bacteria. This form usually occurs from contact with something or someone who carries the bacteria.

How Conjunctivitis is Diagnosed

As with most infections, conjunctivitis diagnosis needs to begin with a review of medical history, including the symptoms presented and how long the symptoms have been occurring. A vision test is often required to determine how much of the patient’s vision is affected. Next a bright light and a magnification device is used to examine the eye. The inner eye will be evaluated as well to make sure no damage has been done. In some cases, smears of the conjunctival tissue will need to be taken.

Preventing Conjunctivitis

Ways to prevent conjunctivitis, include keeping your hands clean, avoiding people who carry the virus or bacteria, replacing your washcloth daily, removing any eye makeup products that are used when you are infected, and using proper eye care for contact lenses.

If you suspect you might suffer from conjunctivitis, please contact us as Palm Beach Eye Center as soon as possible for an appointment.