DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Newborn baby with "sticky eye" or neonatal conjunctivitis. Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, the delicate mucous membrane covering the front of the eye and the insides of the eyelids. The conjunctiva becomes red and swollen and may discharge water or pus (as seen here). Neonatal conjunctivitis is usually caused by bacterial infection, often contracted as the infant passes through the birth canal. It is common, mild, & usually responds to treatment with antibiotic eye drops. A serious condition can occur, however, if the mother has a gonorrhoeal infection; if left untreated neonatal gonorrhoeal conjunctivitis may result in blindness.
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