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Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis: Introduction

Conjunctivitis is a common condition in which a part of the eye called the conjunctiva is inflamed. The conjunctiva is a thin, transparent membrane that lines and protects the whites of the eyes and the eyelids.

Conjunctivitis can be caused by a bacterial infection, viral infection, or allergic reaction of the conjunctiva. Conjunctivitis is a very common condition.

When conjunctivitis is caused by an infection, it is a very contagious condition, called infectious conjunctivitis. Viral conjunctivitis is the most common form of infectious conjunctivitis. However, bacterial conjunctivitis is a more serious condition.

Another form of infectious conjunctivitis is called neonatal ophthalmia. Neonatal ophthalmia occurs during the vaginal delivery of an infant to a mother who is infected with certain sexually transmitted diseases. These include genital herpes, chlamydia, and gonorrhea. During delivery, these diseases can infect the conjunctiva of the newborn. If left untreated neonatal ophthalmia can result in blindness in the infant.

Conjunctivitis is commonly called pinkeye because of the hallmark symptom of red or pink eyes. To learn more about other important symptoms and complications, refer to symptoms of conjunctivitis.

Infectious conjunctivitis can be spread from one person to another through contact with any object, such as a finger or towel, that has touched the eye area of a person with infectious conjunctivitis. Conjunctivitis can occur to any person in any age group, but is very common among young children, especially those in day care settings.

Diagnosing conjunctivitis begins with taking a thorough personal and family medical history, including symptoms, and completing a physical examination that includes an eye examination.

An eye examination includes testing pupil response to light, visual acuity or sharpness of vision, checking the sharpness of peripheral vision, and testing the pressure inside the eye. The outer eye is examined using an instrument called a slit lamp, and the inner eye is examined using an instrument call an ophthalmoscope. Another test involves temporarily staining the eye with a special eye drop that makes a corneal abrasion, which can mimic conjunctivitis, visible to the clinician.

A culture and sensitivity test may be performed on discharge from the affected eye. This involves taking a sample of the discharge, growing it in a laboratory, and examining it to determine the type of microorganism that is causing an infectious conjunctivitis.

A diagnosis of conjunctivitis may be missed or delayed because symptoms can be similar to symptoms of other diseases or conditions. To learn more about diseases and conditions that can mimic conjunctivitis, refer to misdiagnosis of conjunctivitis.

Treatment for conjunctivitis varies depending on the specific type of conjunctivitis. Treatment may include medications and prevention of the spread of the condition. For more details on treatment plans, refer to treatment of conjunctivitis....more »

Conjunctivitis: Misdiagnosis

A diagnosis of conjunctivitis may be delayed or missed because symptoms of conjunctivitis can be similar to symptoms of other diseases and conditions, such as watering eye, subconjunctival hemorrhage, scleritis, uveitis, choroiditis, dry eye, blepharitis, and corneal ulcer. ...more misdiagnosis »

Causes of Conjunctivitis:

The following medical conditions are some of the possible causes of Conjunctivitis. There are likely to be other possible causes, so ask your doctor about your symptoms.

» Review Causes of Conjunctivitis: Causes | Symptom Checker »

Home Diagnostic Testing and Conjunctivitis

Home medical tests possibly related to Conjunctivitis:

Causes of Types of Conjunctivitis:

Review the causes of these more specific types of Conjunctivitis:

Review causes of types of Conjunctivitis in more specific categories:

Review causes of more specific types of Conjunctivitis:

Conjunctivitis: Symptom Checker

Listed below are some combinations of symptoms associated with Conjunctivitis, as listed in our database. Visit the Symptom Checker, to add and remove symptoms and research your condition.

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Conjunctivitis Treatments

The first step in treating conjunctivitis is prevention. Prevention measures include avoiding touching the eyes, which can transmit an infectious virus or bacteria from the hands into the eyes. It is also key to wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 15 seconds, especially after having contact with anyone with conjunctivitis or any object that may be ...Conjunctivitis Treatments

Some of the possible treatments listed in sources for treatment of Conjunctivitis may include:

Review further information on Conjunctivitis Treatments.

Stories from Users for Conjunctivitis

Real-life user stories relating to Conjunctivitis:

Conjunctivitis: Animations

Medications or substances causing Conjunctivitis:

The following drugs, medications, substances or toxins are some of the possible causes of Conjunctivitis as a symptom. Always advise your doctor of any medications or treatments you are using, including prescription, over-the-counter, supplements, herbal or alternative treatments.

Conjunctivitis: Comorbid Symptoms

Some of the comorbid or associated medical symptoms for Conjunctivitis may include these symptoms:

Causes of General Symptom Types

Research the causes of these more general types of symptom:

Causes of Similar Symptoms to Conjunctivitis

Research the causes of these symptoms that are similar to, or related to, the symptom Conjunctivitis:

Conjunctivitis: Deaths

Read more about causes and Conjunctivitis deaths.

Conjunctivitis: Research Related Doctors & Specialists

Other ways to find a doctor, or use doctor, physician and specialist online research services:

Conjunctivitis: Undiagnosed Conditions

Conditions that are commonly undiagnosed in related areas may include:

Causes of Conjunctivitis listed in Disease Database:

Other medical conditions listed in the Disease Database as possible causes of Conjunctivitis as a symptom include:

Article Excerpts about Conjunctivitis

This term describes a group of diseases that cause swelling, itching, burning, and redness of the conjunctiva, the protective membrane that lines the eyelids and covers exposed areas of the sclera, or white of the eye. Conjunctivitis can spread from one person to another and affects millions of Americans at any given time. Conjunctivitis can be caused by a bacterial or viral infection, allergy, environmental irritants, a contact lens product, eyedrops, or eye ointments. (Source: excerpt from Facts About the Cornea and Corneal Disease: NEI)

Conjunctivitis happens when the tissue that lines the eyelids and covers the cornea becomes inflamed. It can cause itching, burning, tearing, or a feeling of something in the eye. Conjunctivitis can be caused by infection or allergies. (Source: excerpt from Aging and Your Eyes -- Age Page -- Health Information: NIA)

This term describes a group of diseases that cause swelling, itching, ... (Source: excerpt from Facts About the Cornea and Corneal Disease: NEI)

Conjunctivitis happens when the tissue that lines the eyelids and covers the... (Source: excerpt from Aging and Your Eyes -- Age Page -- Health Information: NIA)

Definitions of Conjunctivitis:

Conjunctivitis; inflammation of the conjunctiva of the eye.
- (Source - Diseases Database)

Inflammation of the conjunctiva of the eye
- (Source - WordNet 2.1)

Inflammation of the mucous membrane that lines the inner surface of the eyelids and the anterior part of the sclera; also called pinkeye and redeye.
- (Source - CRISP)

Detailed list of causes of Conjunctivitis

The list below shows some of the causes of Conjunctivitis mentioned in various sources:

How Common are these Causes of Conjunctivitis?

This information refers to the general prevalence and incidence of these diseases, not to how likely they are to be the actual cause of Conjunctivitis. Of the 244 causes of Conjunctivitis that we have listed, we have the following prevalence/incidence information:

  • 2 causes are "very common" diseases
  • 3 causes are "common" diseases
  • 2 causes are "uncommon" diseases
  • 0 causes are "rare" diseases
  • 8 causes are "very rare" diseases
  • 234 causes have no prevalence information.

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Conjunctivitis:

The following list of conditions have 'Conjunctivitis' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Conjunctivitis or choose View All.

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Conditions listing medical complications: Conjunctivitis:

The following list of medical conditions have Conjunctivitis or similar listed as a medical complication in our database. The distinction between a symptom and complication is not always clear, and conditions mentioning this symptom as a complication may also be relevant. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

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Causes of Conjunctivitis Based on Risk Factors

This information shows analysis of the list of causes of Conjunctivitis based on whether certain risk factors apply to the patient:

  • Travel - has the patient travelled recently?

    Classifications of Conjunctivitis:

    Subtypes of Conjunctivitis:

    Conjunctival Injection (25 causes)

    Medical Conditions associated with Conjunctivitis:

    Red eye (630 causes), Eye symptoms (5412 causes), Face symptoms (8109 causes), Head symptoms (10192 causes), Inflammatory symptoms (1736 causes), Conjunctiva symptoms (222 causes), Infection-related symptoms (1293 causes)

    Symptoms related to Conjunctivitis:

    Red eye (630 causes), Itchy eye (293 causes), Eye pain (475 causes), Pink eye, Hyperaemia, Blepharoconjunctivitis, Keratoconjunctivitis, Watering, Irritation, Infection (1293 causes)

    Medical articles on signs and symptoms:

    Doctor-patient articles related to symptoms and diagnosis:

    These general medical articles may be of interest:

    Medical News summaries about Conjunctivitis

    Our news pages contain the following medical news summaries about Conjunctivitis and many other medical conditions:

    Related medical articles from our Disease Center for Conjunctivitis:

    More Ways To Research Medical Signs and Symptoms:

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