Conjunctivitis is a common condition that causes redness and inflammation of the thin layer of tissue that covers the front of the eye (the conjunctiva).
Other symptoms of conjunctivitis include itchiness and watering of the eyes, and sometimes a sticky coating on the eyelashes.
The conjunctiva can become inflamed as result of:
- a bacterial or viral infection - this is known as infective conjunctivitis
- an allergic reaction to a substance such as pollen or dust mites - this is known as allergic conjunctivitis
- the eye coming into contact with substances that can irritate the conjunctiva, such as chlorinated water or shampoo, or a loose eyelash rubbing against the eye - this is known as irritant conjunctivitis