There are many causes, such as:
- Allergens, such as seasonal allergies
- Chemicals from things like air pollutants and chlorine
The bacterial form is more common in children.
Things that may raise the risk are:
- Spending time in crowded or close spaces
- Contact with an infected person
- Sharing towels, linens, or other items with an infected person
- Having seasonal allergies or contact with known allergens
- Being around chemical irritants
- Wearing contact lenses
- Teary eyes
- Pink color in the white part of the eye
- Swelling of the eyelid
- Itching or burning eyes
- Pus-like discharge
- Sensitivity to light
Sometimes symptoms start in one eye and infect the other eye.
Treatment will depend on the cause.
Most forms of conjunctivitis clear up with time. Some people may be given antibiotic eye drops or ointment to treat the bacterial form. Antibiotics cannot treat the viral form.
Artificial tears may be used. Some may have antihistamines in them to further ease symptoms. These are found at many stores.
These methods may help ease problems:
- Cold or warm compresses
- Avoiding any causes of irritation
- Not wearing contact lenses until problems are gone
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
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