Red eyes with discharge accompanied by pain and foreign body sensation is a common problem associated with eyes. Most of them term this condition as “Madras Eye” (not necessarily associated with Chennai!)
This is a condition known as Conjunctivitis.


Conjunctivitis – Conjunctivitis is defined as inflammation of the conjunctiva, thin layer of tissue that covers the front of the eye. It might even cause swelling of your conjunctiva! It is commonly termed as Pink Eye.


Causes – Conjunctivitis can happen due to various reasons. The common causes are listed here under –

  • Bacteria
  • Viruses
  • Pollen, dust, smoke, fumes
  • Irritant or noxious chemicals
  • Foreign body in the eye

Types of conjunctivitis – Based on the cause, conjunctivitis can be classified as –

  1. Infective conjunctivitis
  2. Allergic conjunctivitis
  3. Irritant conjunctivitis


Symptoms – Irrespective of the cause and type, all sort of conjunctivitis have common symptoms of –


  • Foreign body sensation in the eyes
  • Itching in the eyes
  • Burning sensation in the eyes
  • Redness of the eyes
  • Discharge from the eyes
  • Swelling of eyelids
  • Increased sensitivity to light
  • Pain in the eyes
  • Disturbed vision


Treatment – Treatment can be categorized as generalized and specific. Specific treatment is based on the cause and generalized treatment options include-


  • Pain killers
  • Pills to reduce inflammation
  • Artificial tear eye drops
  • Cold compressors


Is Conjunctivitis Contagious? Conjunctivitis is a contagious disease; it spreads from person to person. Conjunctivitis spreads by –

  • Using the tissue or towel used by infected person, especially eye tissues
  • Improper or not washing hands after being in contact with the person
  • Sharing eye cosmetics or eye care items


Home remedies once being diagnosed – Once you are diagnosed or family member is being diagnosed, following these steps will help in controlling the spread of the disease and even early recovery of infected person.



For early recovery –


  • Apply compression to eyes
  • Use eye drops as prescribed
  • Stop wearing contact lenses
  • Avoid the agent that caused problem
  • Bathe or shower frequently
  • Wash your clothes with hot water

For prevention –


  • Don’t touch eyes with your hands
  • Wash your hands with soap and water
  • Use clean towels or disposable tissues
  • Don’t share eye cosmetics
  • Follow doctor’s advice


Conjunctivitis is not a severe problem, if left untreated can spread into inner part of the eyes and complicate the condition. Once you start developing red eyes, meet your doctor immediately – early intervention prevents further damage.

Be more than well. Be well prepared.


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