Conjunctivitis is commonly called “pink eye”. It happens when the conjunctiva is irritated by infection or allergies. The conjunctiva is the outer, normally clear covering of the white part of the eye (sclera). Your eyes are red and swollen and sometimes they have a sticky discharge. Some types of pink eye are highly contagious.

There are three main types of conjunctivitis

Viral conjunctivitis is the most common type of pink eye. This conjunctivitis is very contagious and often spreads through schools and other crowded places. It usually causes burning, red eyes with a watery discharge.

Bacterial conjunctivitis is also very contagious. An infection from bacteria causes this form of pink eye. With bacterial conjunctivitis, you have sore, red eyes with a lot of sticky pus.

Allergic conjunctivitis is a type of pink eye that comes from an allergic reaction to something. It is not contagious. Allergic pink eye makes your eyes very itchy, red and watery.

Treatment for Conjunctivitis

Cool compress

Treating your pink eye usually depends on the type of conjunctivitis you have. If your conjunctivitis is caused by a viral infection, there are no specific treatments. Your body fights the virus on its own. Placing a cool, wet washcloth on your eyes can help make them feel more comfortable.

Eyedrops & Antibiotics

If your pink eye is caused by a bacterial infection, your ophthalmologist may prescribe antibiotic eye drops. Antibiotics do not treat an infection caused by a virus or by allergy.

Rinse the eye free of the substance

If your conjunctivitis is due to allergies, you might be told to use certain eye drops to help with the itchiness and puffiness. Sometimes conjunctivitis can be caused by a chemical or other substance in your eye. In this case, rinse the eye free of the substance. You might be told to use certain eye drops or ointment for the eyes.