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Sore Eyes: Conjunctivitis

One of the reasons for sore eyes could be viral conjunctivitis, which is an inflammatory and contagious eye condition. Sore eyes could also be due to bacterial conjunctivitis, or as a result of an allergic reaction. One may also experience sore eyes as a consequence of over straining the eyes or from trauma. Sore eyes affect the outer lining of the eyeball and the inner lining of the eyelid.

In this article, we discuss sore eyes resulting from conjunctivitis, which is an easily communicable disease that can spread by hand to eye touch, through droplets of nasal fluid or coughing, and by hand to eye connect post contact with an unclean object or surface. Conjunctivitis is considered to be a minor infection; however, it should be treated with caution as some forms of conjunctivitis can cause serious damage to the eye, especially in babies.

Symptoms of conjunctivitis

The most common symptoms of conjunctivitis are as follows.

  • Redness of the sclera or the white part of the eye
  • Soreness
  • Pain and irritation
  • Water discharge
  • Burning or itching
  • Stuck eyelids in the morning due to accumulation of pus
  • Light sensitivity
  • Runny nose or cough
  • Fever

The symptoms may appear gradually and can last for several days.


There are four main types of conjunctivitis, and each has its own causes.

Viral conjunctivitis: This is the most common form of conjunctivitis and is most often linked with the common cold virus.
Allergic conjunctivitis: Allergic conjunctivitis is caused by an allergy to seasonal plant pollen, animal dander, or dust mites. Allergic conjunctivitis can also be caused by contact lenses or an eye surgery. However, conjunctivitis caused by allergens is not contagious.

Bacterial conjunctivitis: Bacterial conjunctivitis can be caused by respiratory conditions like common cold or sinusitis. It can also be got by contact with a person who has conjunctivitis.

Chemical conjunctivitis: Chemical or irritant conjunctivitis can be caused by pollution, chemicals, water chlorine, contact lenses and solutions.


As soon as the first symptoms of conjunctivitis appear, it is advisable to consult an ophthalmologist or optometrist for proper diagnosis and treatment.

  • Antibiotic eye drops or ointment may be prescribed by the eye doctor in the case of bacterial conjunctivitis.
  • Allergic/chemical conjunctivitis may require you to stay away from the irritant or allergen and the doctor may prescribe antihistamines.
  • Viral conjunctivitis cannot be cured as such, so you may be prescribed pain reliving medication and some soothing eye drops.

You can also opt for several home remedies to alleviate the symptoms.

Prevention of Sore Eyes

There are many easy ways and steps to prevent sore eyes or any kind of conjunctivitis.

  • Wash or sanitize hands regularly
  • Do not make hand eye contact frequently
  • Keep wash cloths, sheets, towels clean and separate
  • Avoid touch or contact with people who has conjunctivitis
  • Keep the contact lenses clean
  • Replace old eye cosmetics and do not share them
  • Eat a healthy diet rich in vitamins and minerals to keep eyes healthy


Submitted on January 16, 2014