Conjunctivitis is a common infection of the eyes. Conjunctivitis means inflammation of the conjunctiva. The conjunctiva is the mucous membrane that lines the inside surface of the lids and covers the surface of the globe up to the limbus (the junction of the sclera and the cornea).
Bacterial conjunctivitis is more common in children. It is commonly caused by Staphylococcus aureus, Steptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae and Moraxella catarrhalis. Bacterial conjunctivitis is spread by direct contact with the patient and his or her secretions or with contaminated objects and surfaces. Patients typically complain of redness and discharge of the affected eye.
Viral conjunctivitis is usually caused by adenovirus. The conjunctivitis may be part of a early onset of viral infection followed by adenopathy, fever, pharyngitis, and upper respiratory tract infection, or the eye infection may be the only manifestation of the disease. It is high contagious and spread by direct contact with the patient and his or her secretions or with contaminated objects and surfaces. Patients typically complain of watery discharge, burning, sandy or gritty feeling in one eye. Viral conjunctivitis is a self-limited process. The symptoms frequently get worse for the first three to five days, with gradual resolution over one to three weeks.
Allergic conjunctivitis is caused by airborne allergens contacting the eye. It typically presents as both eye redness, watery discharge and itching.
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