Request An Appointment
patient portal
online payments
Order Contacts Online

Conjunctivitis

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

View Video

Redness, irritation and watering of the eyes are symptoms common to all forms of conjunctivitis.

Acute allergic conjunctivitis is typically itchy, sometimes distressingly so, and often involves some lid swelling. Chronic allergy often causes just itch or irritation.

Viral conjunctivitis is often associated with an infection of the upper respiratory tract, a common cold, and/or a sore throat. Its symptoms include watery discharge and variable itch. The infection usually begins with one eye, but may spread easily to the other.

Bacterial conjunctivitis causes marked grittiness/irritation and a stringy, opaque, grey or yellowish mucopurulent discharge that may cause the lids to stick together (matting), especially after sleeping.

Treatment

Conjunctivitis sometimes requires medical attention. The appropriate treatment depends on the cause of the problem. For the allergic type, artificial tears sometimes relieve discomfort in mild cases. In more severe cases, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications and antihistamines may be prescribed. Some patients with persistent allergic conjunctivitis may also require topical steroid drops.

Bacterial

Bacterial conjunctivitis usually resolves with no treatment. Treatment with antibiotic eye drops or ointments does however speed recovery.

Viral

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 worse cases it may take over a month.

Chemical

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.

Our Locations

Altoona Office

176 Vision Drive
Duncansville, PA 16635

814.949.8808

Bedford Office

Keystone North Professional Building
3759 Business 220, Suite 010
Bedford, PA 15522

814.623.0088

Brookville Office

50 Waterford Pike
Brookville, PA 15825

814.849.8344

Clearfield Office

235 East Market Street
Clearfield, PA 16830

814.765.6963

DuBois Office

472 Jeffers St.
DuBois, PA 15801

814.371.6143

St. Marys Office

Canadensis Building
241 Depot Street
St. Marys, PA 15857

814.834.7000

Grove City Office

217 South Broad Street
Grove City, PA 16127

724.458.4840

Johnstown Office

1415 Eisenhower Blvd.
Johnstown, PA 15904

814.266.1616

New Bethlehem Office

363 Broad Street, Suite 4
New Bethlehem, PA 16242

814.275.2030

Seneca Office

2968 State Route 257 North
Seneca, PA 16346

814.676.1651