The transparent membrane that lines the eyelid and eyeball develops conjunctivitis or also known as pink eye when it becomes inflamed. We refer to this membrane as the conjunctiva. Small blood vessels in the conjunctiva are more obvious when they are inflamed and swollen. The red or pink color of the white area of the eye is due to this.

Pink eye is commonly triggered by viral infections, making them the leading cause. However, bacterial infections, allergies, and, in the case of infants, incompletely opened tear ducts can also give rise to this condition. Pink eye is also known as conjunctivitis.

Although pink eye can cause discomfort, it seldom affects your vision. Employing treatments can alleviate the irritation associated with pink eye. By obtaining an early diagnosis and practicing certain precautions, you can reduce the likelihood of pink eye spreading since it is contagious.


The common signs and symptoms of conjunctivitis include:

  • Redness or itchiness in one of the eyes or both.
  • Tearing of the eyes.
  • Swelling of the eyelids.
  • A crusty discharge in one or both of your eyes that develops during the course of the night and may make it difficult for your eyes to open in the morning.
  • Your eye has a green or white discharge.
  • Burning sensation of the eyes.
  • Photophobia, or light sensitivity.
  • The sensation like there is dust in one or both eyes.

Various serious eye conditions can lead to redness in the eyes. These conditions might also cause eye pain, a feeling of foreign object presence, vision disturbances, and sensitivity to light. If you experience these symptoms, it’s crucial to seek immediate medical attention.

If you’re a contact lens wearer and notice pink eye symptoms, it’s important to discontinue lens usage promptly. Should your symptoms not show improvement within 12 to 24 hours, it’s recommended to schedule an appointment with your eye doctor to rule out a potentially more severe eye infection associated with contact lens use.


Conjunctivitis can be brought on by:

  • Irritating chemical substances.
  • Bacteria or viruses.
  • Allergies.
  • Having a foreign object in the eye.
  • A blocked tear duct in babies.
  • Autoimmune disorders.

Viral and bacterial conjunctivitis

The primary cause of pink eye is usually an adenovirus, although herpes simplex and varicella-zoster viruses can also be responsible. Bacterial and viral conjunctivitis can accompany symptoms of colds or respiratory infections, such as a sore throat. Bacterial conjunctivitis can arise from using unclean or shared contact lenses. Both forms of conjunctivitis are highly contagious and can spread through direct or indirect contact with discharge from an infected person’s eye. It is possible for either one or both eyes to be affected.

Allergic conjunctivitis

Allergic conjunctivitis impacts both eyes and arises as a response to allergens like pollen. In response to these allergens, your body generates an antibody called immunoglobulin E (IgE). IgE prompts specialized cells in the mucous membranes of your eyes and airways to release inflammatory substances like histamines. The release of histamines by your body can lead to a range of allergy symptoms, among them red or pink eyes.

In cases of allergic conjunctivitis, excessive sneezing and a runny nose often accompany intense eye itching, teary eyes, and inflammation. Allergy-specific eye drops are typically successful in treating most instances of allergic conjunctivitis. It’s important to note that conjunctivitis resulting from allergies is not contagious and does not spread.

Conjunctivitis due to irritation

Conjunctivitis is also linked to irritation from a chemical splash or a foreign item in the eye. Redness and irritation can occasionally result from flushing and washing the eye to remove the chemical or item. The symptoms, which could include watery eyes and a mucus discharge, typically go away by themselves in a day or so.

Consult your doctor or an eye specialist as soon as you can if flushing doesn’t relieve the symptoms or if the chemical is a caustic one like lye. A chemical splash in the eye might harm the eyes permanently. It’s possible that you still have the foreign body in your eye if you experience persistent symptoms. Alternatively, you can have a scrape on the cornea or the membrane that covers your eye, known as the conjunctiva.

Risk factors

Conjunctivitis risk factors are as follows:

  • Coming into contact with someone who has a bacterial or viral conjunctivitis infection.
  • Being exposed to an allergen, which can cause allergic conjunctivitis.
  • Wearing contacts, particularly extended-wear ones.