AskDefine | Define conjunctivitis

Dictionary Definition

conjunctivitis n : inflammation of the conjunctiva of the eye [syn: pinkeye]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. an inflammation of the conjunctiva often due to infection.


Derived terms



Extensive Definition

Conjunctivitis (), commonly called "Pink Eye" and "Red Eye" is an inflammation of the conjunctiva (the outermost layer of the eye and the inner surface of the eyelids), most commonly due to an allergic reaction or an infection (usually bacterial, but sometimes viral).


Blepharoconjunctivitis is the combination of conjunctivitis with blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelids).
Keratoconjunctivitis is the combination of conjunctivitis and keratitis (corneal inflammation).
Episcleritis is an inflammatory condition that produces a similar appearance to conjunctivitis, but without discharge or tearing.
Conjunctivitis has many different possible causes. It can be caused by viruses, bacteria (including STDs), allergies, or irritants such as shampoo, dirt, smoke, or chlorine (from pool water).
The viral and bacterial forms of conjunctivitis are contagious, and can therefore be caused by coming in contact with another individual who is already infected.
Although there is no specific treatment for viral conjunctivitis, symptomatic relief may be achieved with warm compresses and artificial tears. For the worst cases, topical corticosteroid drops may be prescribed to reduce the discomfort from inflammation. However prolonged usage of corticosteroid drops increases the risk of side effects. Antibiotic drops may also be used for treatment of complementary infections. Patients are often advised to avoid touching their eyes or sharing towels and washcloths. Viral conjunctivitis usually resolves within 3 weeks. However, in worst cases it may take over a month.
Conjunctivitis due to burns, toxic and chemical require careful wash-out with saline, especially beneath the lids, and may require topical steroids. The more acute chemical injuries are medical emergencies, particularly alkali burns, which can lead to severe scarring, and intraocular damage. Fortunately, such injuries are uncommon.


External links

conjunctivitis in Bosnian: Konjunktivitis
conjunctivitis in Catalan: Conjuntivitis
conjunctivitis in German: Konjunktivitis
conjunctivitis in Spanish: Conjuntivitis
conjunctivitis in Esperanto: Konjunktivito
conjunctivitis in French: Conjonctivite
conjunctivitis in Croatian: Konjunktivitis
conjunctivitis in Indonesian: Konjungtivitis
conjunctivitis in Italian: Congiuntivite
conjunctivitis in Lithuanian: Konjuktyvitas
conjunctivitis in Dutch: Bindvliesontsteking
conjunctivitis in Japanese: 結膜炎
conjunctivitis in Norwegian: Konjunktivitt
conjunctivitis in Polish: Zapalenie spojówek
conjunctivitis in Portuguese: Conjuntivite
conjunctivitis in Quechua: Ñawi huñuna unquy
conjunctivitis in Simple English: Conjunctivitis
conjunctivitis in Finnish: Sidekalvontulehdus
conjunctivitis in Telugu: కండ్లకలక
conjunctivitis in Thai: เยื่อตาอักเสบ
conjunctivitis in Chinese: 结膜炎
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