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Almost every person in the world has heard of conjunctivitis and knows that it is an inflammation of the conjunctiva. Those who do not know what conjunctiva is should know that it is a mucous membrane that covers the white of the eyes and the inner side of the eyelids. In most cases of conjunctivitis, it is common that the both eyes are affected at the same time. However, the inflammation will start in one eye and then gradually move on to the other one as well. This usually happens after 24 or 48 hours. It is also common for the inflammation to be asymmetrical. In this case, conjunctivitis will affect one eye more than the other. This is a common eye condition and people need to know that it is not serious but it can be irritating and uncomfortable.

The causes

People should know that there are five types of this inflammation and that each one has its own causes. When bacterial conjunctivitis is considered, it is the bacteria that cause the inflammation and most commonly certain bacteria like staphylococci, streptococci and haemophilus. Viral conjunctivitis is in most cases connected with a common cold. It is not uncommon for this type to spread easily and quite fast among people. A conjunctivitis type called chlamydial conjunctivitis is caused by a certain organism named Chlamydia trachomatis. This organism is also known to infect other body parts as well. Allergic conjunctivitis is another type of this inflammation and people who already suffer from other signs of allergic disease are more prone to it. Reactive conjunctivitis attacks people who are susceptible to certain chemicals in swimming pools or to smoke.


The symptoms of bacterial conjunctivitis are the gritty and irritated feeling in the eyes accompanied by a sticky discharge. Red eyes and watery discharge are common to viral conjunctivitis. The symptoms of chlamydial conjunctivitis are not that different and the eyes will be red with a sticky discharge. Swollen eyelids are also common. Severe itching in the eyes is common for allergic conjunctivitis. Parents should be aware of the fact that young children are more prone to suffering from conjunctivitis and the main reason why that is so is because their immune systems are still no that strong. Treatment

In most cases of bacteria conjunctivitis a person will treat it with a broad spectrum of antibiotic drops or ointment. A majority of bacterial conjunctivitis cases will clear on its own in a matter of several days. When viral conjunctivitis is considered, people should know that there is no known treatment but a person can use certain lubricant ointments. Cold compresses on the eyes also help.The best possible treatments for Chlamydia conjunctivitis are chlortetracycline ointment and tetracycline tablets. In case of allergic conjunctivitis, it is considered that the best possible treatment is using topical antihistamine drops. Parents need not forget that conjunctivitis in children is sometimes serious and must not be neglected.

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