What Is Conjunctivitis?

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By jolene
Apr 17, 2020
Medical Expert Medical Expert

Conjunctivitis, pink eye, or red eye occurs when there is inflammation of the conjunctiva. It is often known as pink or red eye as the inflammation causes the affected eye to appear reddish or pinkish. This condition can affect one or both eyes.

The conjunctiva comprises of the inner surface of the eyelid and outermost layer of the white part of the eye. There are three parts of the conjunctiva: the palpebral or tarsal conjunctiva (that lines the inner surface of the eyelid), bulbar conjunctiva (covers the white portion of the eye-anterior sclera), and the conjunctival sac (which is the space bounded by tarsal and bulbar conjunctivae).

1. Causes

Conjunctivitis can be caused by several factors such as a bacterial infection, viral infection, irritants, allergens, dryness, mechanical abrasions, and more. The etiologic agent needs to be identified to obtain appropriate treatment. In contagious causes such as bacterial and viral infections, transmission can occur from person to person contact or through contaminated objects and water. In bacterial infections, conjunctivitis can occur when the bacteria reaches the conjunctiva from the surrounding skin, edges of the eyelids, nasal cavity, contact lenses, and infected eye drops. it has been estimated that 65% to 90% of viral conjunctivitis cases are due to human adenovirus infections. The different types of conjunctivitis can be divided according to the different causes.

Conjunctivitis

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