Conjunctivitis. Young boy 5 years old swabs his tearful eye which is reddened due to conjunctivitis. Conjunctivitis is the inflammation of the conjunctiva, the thin mucous membrane that covers the surface of the eye and lines the eyelids. It may be caused by an allergic reaction such as hay fever, or infection by bacteria or viruses. One or both eyes become red, itchy, with a discharge which may be clear and watery or yellow from infection. Conjunctivitis is one of the most common medical complaints, accounting for over 2% of visits to the doctor. Treatment may include antibiotic or antihistamine eye drops.
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