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).
The conjunctiva can become inflamed as a 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 things that can irritate the conjunctiva, such as shampoo or chlorinated water, or a loose eyelash rubbing against the eye – this is known as irritant conjunctivitis
Generally, adults who work in close contact with others, or share equipment such as phones and computers, shouldn’t return to work until the discharge has cleared up.
Viral and bacterial conjunctivitis are highly contagious.