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Conjunctivitis, also referred to as pinkeye is when the conjunctiva (thin clear tissue that covers the front of the eye) is inflamed or swollen. There are various reasons and causes for conjunctivitis, which include infections, bacteria, things that irritate the eye such as shampoos, dirt, smoke, chemicals, make-up, contact lenses etc. and allergies such as hay fever and dust etc. Conjunctivitis is also very contagious so if you have been in contact with someone that has it, you can catch it this way too. It can only be one eye that gets infected and not both and this tends to happen more in older adults as they have a weaker immune system and to children who are more likely to be in close contact with other children that have an infection. If you have recently been ill with a cold or infection, you could be more prone to catching it as the immune system is still weak.


The symptoms people may experience can differ according to what has caused the inflammation and swelling. However, some common symptoms include, red eye, yellow discharge that hardens over the eyelashes, especially when you first wake up, discharge from the eye (green or white in colour), itchy and burning eyes and blurred vision. Your eyes may even start running and watering more and you may have enlarged lymph glands.