Conjunctivitis & Corneal Disease


The thin, clear layer of tissue over the white of the eye is called the conjunctiva. Bacteria, virus, chemicals, or particles in the environment can cause redness, watering, itching and discharge. This condition is called conjunctivitis.

The conjunctiva can also be damaged by UV rays from the sun, causing lumpy areas (pingueculae), or even cause the conjunctiva to grow over the cornea, (a condition called pterygium). Avoid these conditions by wearing sunglasses whilst outdoors. Once already present, artificial tear supplements can be helpful for maintaining eye comfort.

The cornea is the clear, curved structure at the front of the eyeball. It allows light to enter the eye, helping the lens to focus the image on the retina at the back of the eye. While we are awake the cornea is open to the environment and so it is susceptible to drying, infection, and trauma. Corneal infection (keratitis) needs to be assessed and treated quickly as it can lead to sight loss. Contact lens wearers are especially at risk and should seek help urgently if they have symptoms of redness, watering, pain or discharge.

Dry eye is a common problem, especially for those concentrating on a computer screen for many hours. Artificial tear supplements and lid hygiene can be helpful in treating this condition. In more severe cases, antibiotic medication, dietary oil supplements and plugging the tear outflow channel may be used to restore comfort and clear vision.