Conjunctivitis

Alternative Names

Inflammation – conjunctiva; Pink eye

Definition of Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis is swelling (inflammation) or infection of the membrane lining the eyelids (conjunctiva).

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

The conjunctiva is exposed to bacteria and other irritants. Tears help protect the conjunctiva by washing away bacteria. Tears also contain enzymes and antibodies that kill bacteria.

Treatment

Treatment of conjunctivitis depends on the cause.

Expectations (prognosis)

The outcome is usually good with treatment.

Review

Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 8/3/2010

Eye

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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