Conjunctivitis, or pink eye, is a term that a lot of us are familiar with, even if we might not know exactly what it is. This contagious eye condition can be contracted by anyone but is very common among children, teachers, and daycare workers. While it may sound like a scary condition to have, the good news is that in most cases it is easily treatable, and disappears just as quickly as it is contracted.
Conjunctivitis occurs when the thin clear tissue that covers the white portion of a person’s eye and eyelids, known as the conjunctiva, becomes irritated and inflamed. Though this tissue appears to be transparent, it is lined with tiny blood vessels which when inflamed, become engorged with blood, causing the eyes to appear bloody and red. The redness can be accompanied by pain or itchiness in an eye and in some cases a yellow discharge that crusts, and causes the eyelids to stick to each other after a long night’s sleep.