This condition is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, the thin, transparent layer of tissue that covers the white portion of the eyeball and lines the inner surface of the eyelid. The conjunctiva is a mucous membrane that produces mucus and tears to lubricate the eye.
Conjunctivitis is commonly caused by a viral or bacterial infection of the eye. It can also be caused by an allergic reaction, chemical or pollutants that irritate the eye, a foreign substance in the eye, overuse of eyedrops, or by improper contact lens hygiene practices.
Symptoms may include redness in the white of the eye or inner side of the eyelid, an itching, burning, or gritty sensation, a discharge from the eye, increased sensitivity to light, and increased tear and mucus production that may result in the eyelashes becoming crusted with sticky yellow mucus during sleep.
Treatment optinos vary depending on the cause of the irritation. Some infections may be treated with antibiotics or other medications. Conjunctivitis caused by allergens may be treated by allergy treatment and by limiting exposure to the allergen. Conjunctivitis caused by irritants may be treated with eye washing.