Conjunctivitis is swelling and irritation in the eye. It affects the tissue that covers the eye and lines the inner surface of the eyelid. This tissue is called conjunctiva.
Eye with Conjunctivitis
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There are many causes of conjunctivitis including:
- Viral infection
- Bacterial infection, such as staphylococcus or streptococcus
- Allergic reaction, usually related to seasonal allergies
Chemical irritation caused by:
- Air pollutants
- Other chemicals
Both viral and bacterial conjunctivitis are highly contagious.
Last reviewedNovember 2012by Brian Randall, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.