Conjunctivitis is caused when the front surface of the eye becomes inflamed, and is commonly associated with an inflammation of the inner eyelid as well. Everything from viruses and bacterial infections to seasonal allergies are the most common causes, however chemical reactions such as swimming in chlorinated water, or encountering eye irritants in household cleaning products can also cause conjunctivitis.
Common symptoms are red eyes, excessive production of tears, watery eyes, itchy or scratchy feelings directly on the eye, and inflamed and/or swollen eyelids. With certain forms of conjunctivitis, some yellow or yellow-green discharge can be expected.
The primary treatment is to remove the irritant. Proper hand washing and hygiene is of utmost important, and it is recommended that any eye makeup that has been used on the affected eye be disposed of immediately, as continued use may be reinfecting the eye with each application. Any cloths or towels that have had contact with the infected eye should be washed thoroughly in hot water. Avoid swimming and avoid chemical irritants. It is recommended that an exam of the conjunctivitis be performed by your Vision Care Centre Optometrist, as some prescription eye drops and pills may help relieve symptoms and speed healing.