Conjunctivitis, commonly known as “red eye”, is an inflammation of the conjunctiva (the outer transparent membrane, which covers the white part/layer of the eye called the sclera).
There are three types of conjunctivitis:
Each requires a different treatment. Apart from of the allergic type, conjunctivitis is epidemic (contagious). The viral form commonly associated with respiratory infections, colds or a sore throat.
The allergic type occurs more frequently in allergic patients and the symptoms are usually seasonal. Allergic conjunctivitis may also be caused by sensitivity to substances such as cosmetics, perfumes, detergents and drugs.
Bacterial conjunctivitis is often caused by bacteria such as staphylococcus and streptococcus. The severity of inflammation depends on the type of the infected bacteria.
A slit lamp examination may show the condition on the conjunctiva. In case of microbial conjunctivitis, the ophthalmologist can collect substance from the tissue, in order to determine the type of the microbe that infected the eye.