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Conjunctivitis is a condition in which the clear film over the white part of the eye becomes red or pink. Conjunctivitis can sometimes produce a white or yellow discharge, excess tearing and foreign body sensation (feeling that something is in your eye). The condition can sometimes start in one eye and later move to the other. The most important part about conjunctivitis is that the etiology (reason for the red eye) has to be determined. Some of the different forms of conjunctivitis are bacterial, viral and allergic. Bacterial conjunctivitis is caused by some form of bacteria that usually causes the inside of the eyelid and white part of the eye to become a beefy red.

It also produces papillae, which are tiny bumps on the inside of the lids that have blood vessels running through them and get larger as the condition worsens. The most common sign of bacterial conjunctivitis is mucous discharge. Bacterial conjunctivitis is usually treated with antibiotics. Viral conjunctivitis usually gives the white part of the eye a glassy pink appearance. It also gives the inside of the lower lid follicles, which are little bumps that are clear and free of blood vessels. Viral conjunctivitis is very contagious and caution needs to be taken not to spread the condition to others. It is a self limiting condition, which means if left alone, it will get better over time.

However, we do treat the symptoms of the condition with artificial tears, steroid drops and antihistamines. Allergic conjunctivitis is a condition that is very common in Houston. When a patient is allergic to certain environmental factors at certain times of year, sometimes the eyes begin to itch. Itching is the most common symptom of allergic conjunctivitis. Patients also report a watery discharge. Of course allergies can be treated by eliminating the factor the patient is allergic to, cool compresses and antihistamines. All of these forms of conjunctivitis can be detected at your yearly routine eye examination. If you are suffering from conjunctivitis a proper treatment plan will be designed for you

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