or pinkeye is a common eye infection
that causes the conjunctiva, or
the clear membrane that covers
the white part of the eye and
the inner surface of the eyelids,
to inflame. The inflammation causes
the tiny blood vessels in the
conjunctiva to darken which makes
the eyes appear to be bloodshot.
Conjunctivitis should not be confused
with iritis, or the inflammation
of the iris that also leads to
reddening of the eye.
Causes and Risk Factors
Conjunctivitis is commonly
caused by bacterial infection.
However, it can also be caused
by viral infection or allergies.
Conjunctivitis is caused by
pyogenic, or pus producing,
bacteria such as Staphylococcus
(staph) or Streptococcus (strep).
This infection can be contracted
when the patient comes into
contact with infected individuals,
environmental factors or by
using poor quality or expired
Conjunctivitis is typically
associated with upper respiratory
tract infection and it is
spread by aerosol or by contact
with a number of contagious
viruses, including the viruses
that cause the common cold.
Susceptibility to this infection
increases during winter and
rainy months because of the
increase in humidity.