Mark D. Weingarten, M.D.
Some Saturdays 9-1
Conjunctivitis or pink eye, as it is commonly called, is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, or the thin, transparent lining of the eyelids and front of the eyeball. Conjunctivitis can be caused by a viral or a bacterial infection, an allergy, or an irritant in the eye. It can be highly contagious. It can be spread by contact with contaminated fingers, towels, handkerchiefs, or wash cloths. Symptoms may include eye swelling, redness, irritation, and a yellow, sticky discharge that causes the eyelids to stick together.The infection is usually treated with antibiotic drops or ointment, which must be prescribed by a doctor.
Certain precautions can help prevent the spread of pink eye. Hands should be washed frequently and fingers should be kept away from the eyes. Towels and face cloths should not be shared, and it is recommended that children should be kept home from school until the infection clears. If symptoms of pink eye are experienced, a physician should be consulted.