Inflammation and/or infection of the conjunctiva, which lines the eyelids. A common eye disorder in children, conjunctivitis may be especially contagious in daycare age groups. Different forms may include allergic and infectious. Conjunctivitis may present with itching, tearing, and redness of the eyes. Eyelid swelling and yellow, mucousy discharge may also be present.
Usually, conjunctivitis is easy to treat. Viral forms may accompany the common cold, usually self-resolving in the first few days. Bacterial conjunctivitis requires antibiotic eye drops. Allergic conjunctivitis responds to cold compresses, antihistamines, and avoidance of known allergens.
Rarely, severe forms may be encountered. Referral to an ophthamologist or ER my be necessary for: loss of vision, pain, or severe sensitivity to light.