Conjunctivitis | Different Types of Conjunctivitis



Conjunctivitis or inflammation of the conjunctiva is commonly referred to as “pink eye” or “red-eye”. In this case pain, burning, scratchiness or itchiness may occur. Swelling of the white part may also occur. People might have viral infections along with other symptoms of the common cold that are easily spread between people. It often affects both eyes because the infection can easily spread from one eye to the other. To prevent this from happening, it’s important to avoid touching an infected eye. If you touch it for any reason makes sure to wash your hands right away. It is also a good idea to use your own towels and washcloths, and not share them with other people. The inflammation in the eyes is commonly caused by germs such as viruses or bacteria (infectious conjunctivitis). It is often caused by an allergy (allergic conjunctivitis).




Viral Conjunctivitis:

It can occur with symptoms of cold, flu or other respiratory infection. Usually begins in one eye and may spread to the other eye within days. Discharge from the eye is usually watery rather than thick. People get this type of pink eye because of an infection that spreads from the nose to the eyes.

Bacterial Conjunctivitis:

more commonly associated with discharge (pus), which can lead to eyelids sticking together. Sometimes occurs with an ear infection. A bacterial infection can last up to 10 days without any treatment. But with treatment, it can subside within a day or two. This is the most common type seen in children.

The most common ways the bacterial pink eye happens is by:

  • Sharing personal hygiene or other items
  • Touching the eye with dirty hands
  • Using unclean or old makeup and makeup brushes

Allergic Conjunctivitis:

usually occurs in both eyes. Can produce intense itching, tearing, and swelling in the eyes. May occur with symptoms of allergies, such as itchy nose, sneezing, a scratchy throat, or asthma. Common allergens that can bring on conjunctivitis include: grass, animal dander, dust. The positive thing about allergic conjunctivitis is that it is not contagious to other people.

Conjunctivitis caused by irritants:

can produce watery eyes and discharge of mucus. A chemical splash in the eye can cause permanent eye damage.


Pink eye can be highly contagious and can spread from one person to the other just by a single touch. Therefore, if you have pink eye make sure you do not touch your eyes with your bare hands and even if you do wash your hands right away. Sometimes if you touch your own eyes with the infected hands the condition gets worse.

The incubation period for viral or bacterial conjunctivitis is 24 to 72 hours. This means for 24 t 72 hours the infected particles are present in your hand if you don’t wash them properly. Most bacteria survive on the surface for 6-8 hours whereas some can even live for days.

This infection i.e. pink eye can only be passed through close contacts such as handshakes, hugs or kiss. Coughing or sneezing can also spread the bacteria.


  • EYE REDNESS: pink eye is very common and rarely causes any long- term problems or vision damage.
  • SWOLLEN, RED EYELIDS: Allergic reactions usually involve both eyes right away. Swelling of the eyelids may be seen, particularly common with bacterial infections and allergies.
  • TEARS: Increased production of tears i.e. watery eyes is common in viral and allergic pinkeye.
  • ITCHY OR BURNING EYES: This is the most common symptom of conjunctivitis.
  • DRAINAGE FROM THE EYES: If the eye drains greenish-yellow fluid, it is more likely to be caused by bacterial pinkeye.
  • CRUSTY EYELIDS: People suffering from conjunctivitis may find their eyes “stuck shut” in the morning due to discharge that is produced during sleep.
  • SENSITIVITY TO LIGHT: mild sensitivity is common but severe pain, severe sensitivity to light and change in vision are all signs of infection that may have spread beyond conjunctiva. If you experience these kinds of problems it is suggested to visit a doctor for an examination.
  • FOREIGN FEELING IN THE EYE: pinkeye can feel like there is something in your eye or a feeling of sand in your eye. Generally, children describe their pink eye this way.



  • Stop using your contact lenses if you are using one.
  • Use a new pair of contact lenses when you go back wearing them.
  • Stop wearing any kind of eye makeup while you have an infection.
  • Do not apply old makeup as it causes pinkeye.
  • Use a fresh towel every day.
  • Wash your hands often, especially after you touch your eyes.
  • Do not share anything that comes in contact with your eyes.
  • Put a cool, damp washcloth over your eyes for a few minutes.
  • Rinse your eyes at least 4-5 times; especially rinse it before going to bed.  


Doctors generally prescribe several antibiotic eye drops and they might provide you with medicines depending upon your conjunctivitis or your condition to cope up with it. The first and the foremost thing you should do is to give some rest to your eyes. Make sure you do not miss your appointments with the doctor even if you think you are cured do not stop your medications if your doctor has not asked you to do so. Missing out medicines can increase the problems as your infection may not be cured by the roots by then.


Pink eye which is also known as conjunctivitis is caused due to bacteria, virus or allergies. It can easily spread between people. Therefore, be careful and do not come in close contact with people if you are suffering from pink eye. Make sure you keep your surrounding clean and do not touch your eyes with bare hands.

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