Conjunctivitis and Pink Eye

Eyes | Ophthalmology | Conjunctivitis and Pink Eye (Symptom)


Conjunctivitis, also called pink eye or madras eye is an inflammation of the outermost layer of the eye and the inner surface of the eyelids called conjunctiva. This condition causes redness, discomfort, and discharge from the affected eye. Usually occurs due to an infection, usually viral, but sometimes bacterial, or an allergic reaction. Pink eye can occur in people of any age. Pink eye does not cause any changes in vision.

Conjunctivitis can be classified by cause in: allergic conjunctivitis; bacterial conjunctivitis; viral conjunctivitis; chemical conjunctivitis; neonatal conjunctivitis is often defined separately due to different organisms.

By extent of involvement it can be classified in: blepharoconjunctivitis is the dual combination of conjunctivitis with blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelids); keratoconjunctivitis is the combination of conjunctivitis and keratitis (corneal inflammation) and episcleritis is an inflammatory condition that produces a similar appearance to conjunctivitis, but without discharge or tearing.


There are many causes of pink eye. These can be classified as either infectious or noninfectious. Conjunctivitis is most commonly caused by viral infection, but bacterial infections, allergies, other irritants and dryness are also common etiologies for its occurrence. Both bacterial and viral infections are contagious. Commonly, conjunctival infections are passed from person-to-person, but can also spread through contaminated objects or water.