Conjunctivitis is one of the most common and treatable eye infections in children and adults. Often called
"pink eye," it is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, the tissue that lines the inside of the eyelid. This tissue
helps keep the eyelid and eyeball moist.
While pinkeye can sometimes be alarming because it may make the eyes ex-
tremely red and can spread rapidly, it’s a fairly common condition and usually
causes no long-term eye or vision damage. Some kinds of pinkeye go away on
their own, but others require treatment.
Allergic conjunctivitis affects both eyes and is a response to an allergy-causing
substance such as pollen. In response to allergens, your body produces an anti-
body called immunoglobulin E (IgE). This antibody triggers special cells called mast cells in the mucous
lining of your eyes and airways to release inflammatory substances, including histamines. Your body's re-
lease of histamine can produce a number of allergy symptoms, including red or pink eyes.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS:
• Redness of the eye and eyelids.
• Swelling and itching of the eye.
• A yellow or green colored discharge of the eye(s) which is worst in the morning.
• Crusting of the eyelids in the mornings.
• Greater amount of tears.
• Light sensitivity.
If you have allergic conjunctivitis, you may experience intense itching, tearing and inflammation of the eyes
— as well as itching, sneezing and watery nasal discharge. You may also experience swelling of the
membrane (conjunctiva) that lines your eyelids and part of your eyeballs, resulting in what may look like
clear blisters on the whites of your eyes.
Conjunctivitis can be caused by a:
Irritating substances (shampoos, dirt, smoke, and especially pool chlorine)
• Allergens (substances that cause allergies)
• Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
• Pink eye caused by bacteria, viruses, and STDs can spread easily from person to person, but is not a
serious health risk if diagnosed promptly.