Conjunctivitis is the medical term for what's commonly called pinkeye. It occurs when the part of the eye called the conjunctiva becomes inflamed. Dr. Alvarado, can you tell us more about conjunctivitis?
Of course, Dr. Connolly. The conjunctiva is a thin membrane covering the inner surface of the eyelid and the white part of the eyeball. When this part of the eye becomes red and swollen, a person has conjunctivitis, or pinkeye.
There are several types of pinkeye, and they are identified by the cause of inflammation. Pinkeye can be bacterial, viral, allergic, or chemical. Some types of pinkeye are very contagious and spread easily from person to person.
The best way to avoid pinkeye is to make sure your child washes their hands frequently with soap and water. Encourage your child to use instant hand sanitizer when soap and water aren't readily available. It's also good to encourage children not to touch their eyes.