What is Conjunctivitis?

The front of the eye, which one can see, is covered on the outside with a transparent, membranous structure called the conjunctiva. Its inflammation is called conjunctivitis, commonly referred to as eye-flu.


Conjunctivitis occurs as a result of infection of the conjunctiva. Bacterial and viral infections are the commonest. Exposure to dust and dirt, injuries or contact with infected persons may be responsible.


A person with conjunctivitis may experience one or more of the following

  • Redness
  • Watering
  • Irritation
  • Pus discharge


Antibiotics are the mainstay of treatment. Eye-drops are used. An antibiotic eye-ointment may be used at bedtime. In case of other infections, the appropriate drug is prescribed.

Advice to Patients

  • Avoid touching your eyes repeatedly.
  • In case you do touch your eyes, wash your hands with soap and water.
  • Do not touch objects with your infected hands as this can spread the infection to others.
  • Wash your eyes with cold water in case there is a lot of irritation.

What is Allergic Conjunctivitis?


This is another, fairly common form of conjunctivitis, often termed spring catarrh. It usually affects children and young adults who may have a family or personal history of other allergic disorders. As the name indicates, the condition is commoner in the spring and summer seasons. It manifests with itching in the eyes, watering, irritation or stringy discharge. The disease is normally of no danger to eyesight and can easily be controlled with anti-allergic eye-drops. Allergens aggravating the condition can be many and varied like dust or pollens. It helps if the patient can identify and avoid these.