Conjunctivitis, or an infection of the eye, is a very common problem. It can be unilateral (involving one eye) or bilateral (involving both eyes). They are often very contagious, and can be associated with infection be either a virus or with bacteria. The most common reason for conjunctivitis is infection with a virus such as adenovirus, one of the causes of the common cold; these types of infections are often associated with other symptoms such as a runny nose, sore throat or cough. Certain STDs, including gonorrhea and chlamydia, can also cause eye infection
, although these causes are very rare.
Your primary care doctor
can diagnose and treat conjunctivitis. When the infection is caused by a virus, there is no therapy that will cure it; it will go away on its own, although there are things you can do such as using warm washcloths to relieve the symptoms. When the infection is caused by a bacteria, antibiotics drops are often needed to relieve the infection. Conjunctivitis is only possible to diagnose with an in-person consultation, and your primary care doctor will know if you need referral to an eye specialist
, so I suggest you make an appointment with your primary care doctor to discuss this problem right away.