Conjunctivitis is a common eye condition also known as the pink eye which is characterized as an inflammation of the conjunctiva. The conjunctiva is the thin mucous membrane that covers the white part of the eye; it lubricates and coats the eye surface. People who obtain this condition develop enlarged blood vessels after irritation of the conjunctiva which makes the eye red. This condition can be identified when a person has the following signs and symptoms: pus-like discharge, redness, sensitive to light, experiences a burning and scratchy feeling.

Conjunctivitis is classified into three categories depending on the cause and they involve: Bacterial conjunctivitis-which is caused by various bacteria such as staphylococci or streptococci. Individuals who obtain this type of conjunctivitis tend produce a sticky discharge which makes the eyelids to get stuck on each other. This type is contagious; it is treated through the use of antibiotic eye drops and ointments.

Viral conjunctivitis is mainly caused by adenovirus which also causes common cold. This virus can cause an epidemic of conjunctivitis since it can easily spread between people. Allergic-conjunctivitis arises due to exposure to plant pollen grains or grass; the condition may affect those people who are allergic to animals, dust mites or cosmetics. It is mainly common in individuals who have allergic conditions such as asthma, eczema and hay fever.

Reactive conjunctivitis-this condition is also known as chemical or irritant-conjunctivitis and it develops when one is exposed to certain irritants such as smoke, foreign objects, cosmetics, contact lens solutions, chlorine in swimming pools, intense light and injuries. This specific condition can be treated by rinsing off the irritant with water for about five minutes.

Conjunctivitis is preventable; people should do the following to avoid it; washing of hands regularly, not sharing towels or flannels, avoid touching your eyes and avoid sending your child to school if they are infected.

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