Conjunctivitis – Types and symptoms

We all have had our dose of conjunctivitis, also commonly known as the pink eye. How many times have we woken up to find our eye lids all crusty and glues together or teary eyed and red?

It is like a family disease. Once a member of the family gets it, it catches on to the rest like wild fire. It is highly contagious and may get complicated if not treated.

Conjunctivitis basically is the inflammation of the conjunctiva, which is the outermost layer of the eyes that is responsible for its lubrication, to shed tears and mucus.

Types of conjunctivitis:

1. Viral

  • A viral is transferable from one eye to another and is highly contagious.
  • Clear watery eye drainage.
  • It does not get treated with antibiotics.
  • Treatment is to let the virus run its own course of a week or ten days.
  • Bacterial and viral infections are hard to differentiate.

2. Bacterial

  • A viral is transferable from one eye to another and is highly contagious.
  • Yellowish green discharge.
  • Treated with antibiotics.
  • Can also be treated with natural remedies.

3. Allergic

  • This is not contagious.
  • It is caused by allergic reaction caused by the season, pollen, chemicals, cosmetics etc…
  • Clear watery discharge.
  • Usually caused in both the eyes.
  • Treatment is usually to remove the allergen causing substance away from the eyes.

Symptoms of viral conjunctivitis:

  • Swelling of eye lids
  • Redness in the eye
  • Tearing
  • Swollen in front of the ears
  • Burning sensation in the eyes
  • Itching
  • Clear or thick discharge

Symptoms of bacterial conjunctivitis:

  • Redness in the eye
  • Yellowish green discharge
  • Eyelashes may stick together due to drainage
  • Slight swelling of lids
  • Treatment is use of antibiotics

Symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis:

  • Running nose and eyes
  • Clear discharge from eyes
  • Burning sensation in eyes
  • Itching


Now that you know the symptoms and types of pink eye, you just need to be observant and figure out which one you’re suffering from and get the necessary treatment. Remember to treat early so as to prevent complications.

Written by: Rasha  Ashraf