Hettiger Eye Care Center

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Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the thin, tranparent layer covering the front of the eye and the inner surface of the eyelid. The eye will appear red, irritated and sometimes swollen.

There are three types of conjuctivitis:

1. The most common is the INFECTIOUS form, which is commonly referred to as "pink eye". This form is caused by contagious bacteria or viruses and causes the eye to become red, swollen, inflamed, blurry, and itchy. Chlamydial, (inclusion), and gonococcal conjunctivitis typically affects sexually active teens and young adults, and can infect an unborn baby. Antibiotics are usually prescribed.

2. The second form, ALLERGIC conjunctivitis, can be brought on by common irritants such as pets or pollen, and other allergens. Seasonal allergies typically produce a thin, watery discharge and do not involve the cornea. If there is a thick, ropy discharge with severe itching and corneal involvement, it is most likely Vernal Keratoconjunctivitis and not a seasonal allergy. VKC is more common in the warmer climates and strikes men mostly between the ages of three and 25 years.

3. Chemical conjunctivitis can be triggered by chlorine and air pollution.

Chemical and allergic conjunctivitis usually is best treated by avoiding or removing the cause of the irritation and allowing the eye to heal naturally. Over-the-counter artifical tears often help to relieve the discomfort while it heals, along with cool compresses. Sometimes topical antihistamines or deconfestants are prescribed to reduce swelling and aid in the healing process.

It is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, (the outermost layer of the eye and inner surface of the eyelid). It is most often the result of a viral or baterial infection in the eye, an allergic reaction or foreign object in the eye. It is important that we see you in order to determine the cause. Failure to seek care can result in more serious issues if left untreated. We offer same day visits for patients needing immediate minor care.

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