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What is Conjunctivitis?

Conjunctivitis, often called “pink eye”, is an inflammation or infection of the conjunctiva. The conjunctiva is the outer, normally clear covering of the sclera (the white part of the eye). The eye appears pink when you have conjunctivitis because the blood vessels of the conjunctiva are dilated. Pink eye is generally accompanied by discharge, but vision is normal and discomfort is often mild.

What Causes Conjunctivitis?

There are two kinds of conjunctivitis, viral and bacterial. Viral conjunctivitis is much more common and is sometimes accompanied by a respiratory infection (common cold). Generally, this type of conjunctivitis is not cured by prescription medicine, but can be treated with over-the-counter eye drops and cool compresses until the infection runs its course. Bacterial conjunctivitis can be treated with antibiotic eye drops and ointments, and will usually clear up within a few days.

Conjunctivitis is extremely contagious, and if you have it you should not share towels or pillowcases with anyone, and you should also wash your hands frequently. It may also be a good idea to stay home from school or work to prevent it from spreading. You should also stay out of swimming pools if you have it.

Seasonal allergies can also cause conjunctivitis, especially around spring and fall. Conjunctivitis caused by allergies usually results in itchy eyes. Some conditions create symptoms similar to conjunctivitis. It is very important to see your eye doctor if you have any of these symptoms, as it is possible it’s something worse than conjunctivitis. Serious conditions that can be mistaken for conjunctivitis include:

  • very severe glaucoma
  • damage to the cornea
  • other infections

If you notice any of these symptoms, call us at Benjamin Eye Institute to schedule an exam.

Hear From Our Patients

Benjamin Eye Institute

147 reviews

  • Photo of Doe G.
    Doe G.
    Los Angeles, CA
    0 friends
    6 reviews
    1 photo

    Wow! I just had surgery by Dr. Benjamin  yesterday. Today I have 20-20, in that eye. Painless & perfect. I had no Idea, what I had been missing.
    Wonderful eye institute. Delightful & very efficient & up to date staff. Especially Myka. Treat yourself to good eye sight by the charming Dr. Benjamin. You will be in good hands.

  • Matt P.
    West Hollywood, CA
    214 friends
    31 reviews
    3 photos

    I have had dry eyes for a quite sometime and had seen several physicians and got eye drops etc but not until I have seen  Dr. Benjamin I found how serious problem that it was. I had the most thorough and individual attention by Dr. Benjamin. He explained to me my problem and treatment options available. Dr. Benjamin and His staff  are very caring and they spend as much time with you as needed and one feels taken care of. I was given state of the art treatment for my dry eyes and my eyes went from feeling tired , red , scratchy and itchy to brilliantly glowing clear. Office is very serene and staff is attentive, pleasant and smiling. Dr. Benjamin is very down to earth and explains thoroughly that one understands what alis them. I will definitely  keep coming back for all my eye issues.

  • Photo of Renee T.
    Renee T.
    Los Angeles, CA
    33 friends
    44 reviews
    29 photos

    I wish I had come to Dr. Benjamin years ago!!!

    I have been hopping around between 3 eye doctors in the last few years complaining of severe eye pain, redness - so bad I haven't been able to wear contacts for a year. Every other doctor made a diagnosis in 2 minutes, prescribed a few things and sent me on my way. Nothing helped and the doctors kept saying my eyes looked fine despite my symptoms. Finally I saw Dr. Benjamin, and he listened to my concerns from top to bottom and did tests the other doctors never did! He made a brand new diagnosis which finally makes sense and fits my symptoms. He spent almost an hour with me which is unbelievable. I am so impressed with this place, even the front desk and other staff were so friendly. I'm so relieved and am looking forward to making a recovery with Dr. Benjamin and eventually getting LASIK.

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