The page cannot be displayed

There is a problem with the page you are looking for, and it cannot be displayed. The page may no longer be active, or you may have encountered a broken link.

Please try the following:

  • ASPIRUS RIVERVIEW HOSPITAL
    If you experienced an error trying to access information on the Riverview Hospital website, please note that Riverview Hospital and Clinics no longer has its own website. It is now part of Aspirus. Go to the aspirus.org home page to look for your desired information.
  • CAREERS SURVEY
    If you encountered this message trying to complete the survey in the careers area of our website, please let us know using this form.
  • ALL OTHERS
    Contact us using this form and let us know that an error has occurred for this URL address. If using the online form, put please tell us where the error occurred or what you were attempting to do. Copying and pasting the URL of the page may be helpful.
HTTP Error - Internal server error.
Internet Information Services (IIS)
System Error

The page cannot be displayed

There is a problem with the page you are looking for, and it cannot be displayed. The page may no longer be active, or you may have encountered a broken link.

Please try the following:

  • ASPIRUS RIVERVIEW HOSPITAL
    If you experienced an error trying to access information on the Riverview Hospital website, please note that Riverview Hospital and Clinics no longer has its own website. It is now part of Aspirus. Go to the aspirus.org home page to look for your desired information.
  • CAREERS SURVEY
    If you encountered this message trying to complete the survey in the careers area of our website, please let us know using this form.
  • ALL OTHERS
    Contact us using this form and let us know that an error has occurred for this URL address. If using the online form, put please tell us where the error occurred or what you were attempting to do. Copying and pasting the URL of the page may be helpful.
HTTP Error - Internal server error.
Internet Information Services (IIS)

Conjunctivitis

Definition

Conjunctivitis is swelling (inflammation) or infection of the conjunctiva. This is the membrane that lines the eyelids and covers the white part of the eye.

Alternative Names

Inflammation - conjunctiva; Pink eye

Causes

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

Conjunctivitis is most often caused by a virus. Viral conjuctivitis is referred to as "pink eye." Certain forms of pink eye can spread easily among children.

Other causes include:

Newborns can be infected by bacteria in the birth canal. This condition is called ophthalmia neonatorum. It must be treated at once to preserve eyesight.

Symptoms

Symptoms include:

Exams and Tests

Your health care provider will:

Treatment

Treatment of conjunctivitis depends on the cause.

Allergic conjunctivitis may improve when allergies are treated. It may go away on its own when you avoid your allergy triggers. Cool compresses may help soothe allergic conjunctivitis.

Antibiotic medicines most often in the form of eye drops work well to treat bacterial conjunctivitis. Viral conjunctivitis will go away on its own. Mild steroid eye drops may help ease discomfort. Many doctors give mild antibiotic eye drops for pink eye to prevent bacterial conjunctivitis.

You can soothe the discomfort of viral or bacterial conjunctivitis by applying warm compresses (clean cloths soaked in warm water) to your closed eyes.

Outlook (Prognosis)

The outcome is most often good with treatment.

Possible Complications

The infection can come back if you do not take steps to prevent it from spreading.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call with your health care provider if your symptoms last longer than 3 or 4 days or if your vision is affected.

Prevention

Good hygiene can help prevent the spread of conjunctivitis. Things you can do include:

References

Alvarenga LS, Ginsberg B, Mannis MJ. Bacterial conjunctivitis. In: Tasman W, Jaeger EA, eds. Duane's Ophthalmology. 2013 ed. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins;2013:vol 4, chap 5.

Bhatt U, Lagnado R, Dua HS. Follicular conjunctivitis. In: Tasman W, Jaeger EA, eds. Duane's Ophthalmology. 2013 ed. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins;2013:vol 4, chap 7.

Rubenstein JB, Tannan A.. Conjunctivitis: Infectious and noninfectious. In: Yanoff M, Duker JS, eds. Ophthalmology. 4th ed. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Mosby; 2013:chap 4.6.

Wright JL, Wightman JM. Red and painful eye. In Marx JA, Hockberger RS, Walls RM, et al, eds. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Mosby; 2013:chap 22.

Yanoff M, Cameron D. Diseases of the visual system. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 431.


Review Date: 9/2/2014
Reviewed By: Franklin W. Lusby, MD, ophthalmologist, Lusby Vision Institute, La Jolla, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
adam.com
 
System Error

The page cannot be displayed

There is a problem with the page you are looking for, and it cannot be displayed. The page may no longer be active, or you may have encountered a broken link.

Please try the following:

  • ASPIRUS RIVERVIEW HOSPITAL
    If you experienced an error trying to access information on the Riverview Hospital website, please note that Riverview Hospital and Clinics no longer has its own website. It is now part of Aspirus. Go to the aspirus.org home page to look for your desired information.
  • CAREERS SURVEY
    If you encountered this message trying to complete the survey in the careers area of our website, please let us know using this form.
  • ALL OTHERS
    Contact us using this form and let us know that an error has occurred for this URL address. If using the online form, put please tell us where the error occurred or what you were attempting to do. Copying and pasting the URL of the page may be helpful.
HTTP Error - Internal server error.
Internet Information Services (IIS)