Conjunctivitis - is a condition that can have a variety of causes. The conjunctiva reacts to an irritant by redness (caused by increased blood flow) and the release of proteins and white blood cells (leukocytes). Conjunctivitis can affect adults as well as children and infants.


Since redness of the eye can also be caused by serious conditions, you should always consult an ophthalmologist. Even if it is "just a simple conjunctivitis", it is necessary to find out the cause in order to start the correct therapy.

Treatment in Switzerland includes all types of eye and vision therapy. It should be noted that the clinics in Switzerland employ doctors with high titles and known throughout the world ophthalmology.

What is conjunctivitis?

Conjunctivitis is an infection or swelling of the conjunctiva, which is a thin transparent membrane located over the inner surface of the eyelid and covering the white part of the eye.

In conjunctivitis, the blood vessels in the conjunctiva become inflamed. This gives your eyes the red or pink colour that is commonly associated with conjunctivitis.

What are the symptoms of conjunctivitis?

  • Pain in one or both eyes, often a sensation of sand in the eye .
  • Tingling in one or both eyes.
  • A burning, scratching or abrasion sensation.
  • Discharge that sometimes forms a crust overnight.
  • Redness of the affected eye (or both eyes).
  • Reflex lacrimation.

Factors that increase the risk of contracting conjunctivitis are:

  • Contact with a person with infectious conjunctivitis.
  • Exposure to allergenic substances or chemicals.
  • Improper care and prolonged wear of contact lenses .
  • Poor hygiene (failure to wash hands transmitting germs).

There are several different types of conjunctivitis that have different symptoms and treatments.

Types and causes

In general, there are three main categories of conjunctivitis:

  • infectious
  • allergic
  • chemical

Infectious Conjunctivitis

Infectious conjunctivitis comes in several different types including:

  • bacterial
  • viral

Bacterial conjunctivitis is caused by staphylococcal or streptococcal bacteria. It is usually caused by things like touching your eyes with unclean hands, sharing cosmetics, or physical contact with someone who may also have conjunctivitis.

Viral conjunctivitis is usually caused by common cold viruses. It can occur if someone with an upper respiratory infection coughs or sneezes near you. It can also occur if you yourself are infected with a cold virus and blow your nose too hard. As a result, the infection from the respiratory system can get into your eyes.

Allergic conjunctivitis

The eyes are extremely vulnerable to allergens - unlike the nose, they have no filtering mechanisms and their surface area is large, so they are directly exposed to irritants.

There are several types of allergic conjunctivitis. These include:

  • acute allergic conjunctivitis,
  • seasonal allergic conjunctivitis,
  • year-round allergic conjunctivitis,
  • spring conjunctivitis,
  • contact dermatitis of the eyelids and conjunctiva,
  • atopic conjunctivitis.

Acute conjunctivitis is caused by a large number of allergens irritating the eyelids. In response to the irritation by the allergens, itching and swelling occur, causing the conjunctiva to constrict, and its pressure on blood vessels causes the conjunctiva to become milky coloured. The term "acute" is associated with the rapid development of symptoms, which, however, do not last long. Treatment of acute allergic conjunctivitis is simple - the use of artificial tears to wash the conjunctival sac and the application of cool compresses are usually sufficient.

Seasonal conjunctivitis is the most common allergic eye disease and is often accompanied by allergic rhinitis, as both are caused by pollen. Symptoms only appear at certain times of the year, and the most common include: itching and redness, and discharge (watery or mucous). Small warts appear under the eyelid. Allergen irritation can also cause swelling of the conjunctiva and swollen eyelids.

Year-round conjunctivitis has similar symptoms - the difference is that the symptoms persist regardless of the time of year and are less intense. This is because this type of conjunctivitis is caused by year-round allergens such as dust mites, dander.

Treatment of conjunctivitis caused by allergens is not always straightforward. It is based on causal treatment, i.e. identifying the factor causing the allergic reaction and trying to eliminate it. In addition, moisturising preparations (artificial tears) and special topical preparations are used.

 Chemical conjunctivitis

You can get conjunctivitis from irritants such as:

  • chlorine in swimming pools
  • air pollution
  • Exposure to other chemicals

 How can conjunctivitis be prevented?

Basic hygiene measures and proper contact lens cleaning can help prevent conjunctivitis.

  • Wash your hands before inserting or removing lenses,
  • Wash your hands after blowing your nose and sneezing (otherwise germs on your fingers can get into your eyes if you rub them)
  • Use caution when in contact with a child with conjunctivitis.
  • Avoid potentially irritating eye shadows and mascara.

Conjunctivitis should be diagnosed by an ophthalmologist based on external examination, visomicroscopy, biomicroscopy, and sometimes a swab is needed to investigate the pathogen. Such a disease is contagious, easily transmitted from person to person. When making a diagnosis, it is important to observe the rules of personal hygiene. Ophthalmologist in determining the method of treatment of conjunctivitis is based on the type of causative agent of inflammation of the mucosa. Medication therapy is prescribed. For all types of disease without exception, it is necessary to wash hands thoroughly, do not rub the eyes and use individual hygiene products.