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Conjunctivitis is an inflammation or infection of the conjunctiva, the thin transparent layer of tissue that lines the inner surface of the eyelid and covers the white of the the eye called the sclera.  Another term for conjunctivitis is “pink eye” commonly found in children. It may affect one or both eyes and can be highly contagious. It can spread in schools and at home. Conjunctivitis is usually a minor eye infection, sometimes it can develop into a more serious problem.

Conjunctivitis may be caused by a viral or bacterial infection.  It can also occur due to an allergic reaction to irritants in the air like pollen and smoke, chlorine in swimming pools, and ingredients in cosmetics or other products that come in contact with the eyes.  

People with conjunctivitis may experience the following symptoms

  • Discharge coming from one or both eyes
  • Excessive tearing
  • Itchy or burning sensation in one or both eyes
  • Gritty feeling
  • Swollen eyelids
  • Pink discoloration to the whites of one or both eyes
  • Increased light sensitivity

Treatment of conjunctivitis is directed to three main goals:

  1. To increase patient comfort
  2. To reduce or lessen the course of the infection or inflammation
  3. To prevent spread of the infection in contagious forms of conjunctivitis

Call our office today if you are experiencing symptoms of conjunctivitis.  


Written by Dr. Michael Duong

Dr. Duong received his bachelor’s degree in biology with a minor in chemistry at San Jose State University. He then attended Pennsylvania College of Optometry and received his Doctor of Optometry in 2009.
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