Also Known As: Conjuctivitis, Pink eye, Bacterial conjuctivitis
Conjunctivitis (also called pink eye or madras eye) is inflammation of the conjunctiva (the outermost layer of the eye and the inner surface of the eyelids). It is most commonly due to an infection (usually viral, but sometimes bacterial) or an allergic reaction.
Conjunctivitis is most commonly caused by viral infection, but bacterial infections, allergies, other irritants and dryness are also common etiologies for its occurrence. Both bacterial and viral infections are contagious. Commonly, conjunctival infections are passed from person-to-person, but can also spread through contaminated objects or water.
The most common cause of viral conjunctivitis is adenoviruses. Herpetic keratoconjunctivitis (caused by herpes simplex viruses) can be serious and requires treatment with acyclovir. Acute hemorrhagic conjunctivitis is a highly contagious disease caused by one of two enteroviruses, Enterovirus 70 and Coxsackievirus A24. These were first identified in an outbreak in Ghana in 1969, and have spread worldwide since then, causing several epidemics.