Close ILTakeCare Suggestion
IL TakeCare app – For all your insurance & wellness needs

Policy purchase, claims, renewal & more


Causes of Conjunctivitis

Delve into the world of conjunctivitis as we uncover its causes, symptoms, and ways to prevent and manage this common eye condition.

  • 09 Oct 2023
  • 3 min read

If you or your family have been dealing with red, itchy, and watery eyes lately—conjunctivitis (also known as “pink eye”) may be to blame. Conjunctivitis is a very common eye condition that can affect individuals of all ages and cause a range of annoying symptoms. While this infection can make life uncomfortable for a short time, understanding its causes and treatments will help ensure quick recovery periods so you can get back to living your life normally! In this article, we'll cover the various causes of conjunctivitis and what you should do if you're experiencing any of its symptoms.

How is Conjunctivitis Caused?

The following are some of the popularly known causes of conjunctivitis.

  • Viral Conjunctivitis

One prominent cause of conjunctivitis is viral infection. Adenoviruses in particular, are the primary reason. Viral conjunctivitis is highly contagious and typically spreads via contact with infected individuals or contaminated surfaces, and is mainly what causes redness in the eyes. Symptoms include watery discharge, redness, and itching. The condition often accompanies viral illnesses like the common cold or upper respiratory tract infections.

  • Bacterial Conjunctivitis

Bacteria, like Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae, can induce bacterial conjunctivitis. The condition frequently occurs in the morning with crusty eyelids and yellow or green discharge. Close physical contact with infected persons, sharing personal items, or touching contaminated surfaces are common modes of transmission.

  • Allergic Conjunctivitis

Some individuals experience allergic conjunctivitis triggered by exposure to allergens or seasonal changes. Typical allergens include pollen, pet dander, dust mites, and mold spores. The allergens lead to inflammation of the eye's conjunctiva, resulting in redness, stinging, and tearing.

  • Irritant Conjunctivitis

Direct contact of the eye with irritants such as smoke, chlorine from swimming pools, or harsh chemicals can cause irritant conjunctivitis. The condition is not contagious and usually resolves once the irritant is removed. Proper eye protection and avoidance of irritants can prevent this form of conjunctivitis.


Several factors increase the likelihood of developing conjunctivitis:

  • Exposure to an infected person: You can catch Conjunctivitis by coming into contact with an infected person.
  • Age: Children are particularly susceptible to infectious conjunctivitis due to close contact in educational settings.
  • Contact Lens Wear: Improper handling, extended use, or inadequate cleaning of contact lenses can lead to bacterial conjunctivitis.
  • Compromised Immune System: People with weakened immune systems are more vulnerable to bacterial or viral conjunctivitis.
  • Allergies: Those with a history of allergies are more prone to allergic conjunctivitis.
  • Environmental Exposure: Living in crowded or unsanitary environments may elevate the risk of conjunctivitis transmission.

Also read:

You can stop the spread of conjunctivitis by practicing good hygiene. Follow these steps once diagnosed with an infection:

- Keep your hands away from your eyes.

- Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly.

- Use a fresh towel and washcloth daily, and don't share them.

- Throw away eye cosmetics, especially mascara.


In conclusion, conjunctivitis, commonly known as red eye, arises from various causes. Viral conjunctivitis spreads through infection, bacterial conjunctivitis results from bacteria exposure, and allergic conjunctivitis stems from allergens. Irritant conjunctivitis arises due to direct contact with irritants. Factors like age and environmental conditions can expose individuals to conjunctivitis. Understanding the causes of conjunctivitis and the risk factors is crucial for timely medical intervention and prevention. Also, ensure that you have a health insurance plan in place to safeguard yourself against any financial stress.

Disclaimer: The above blog aims to provide general information about health and related topics. Any information provided in this blog, website or in any linked materials is not intended and should not be considered, or used as a substitute for any medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It is important that you contact your Doctor before starting a new medicine or health regime.

  • Looking for tailored advice?

    Schedule a call with our insurance advisors

  • OR
  • Call us:

    1800 2666
Please enter valid name
Please enter a valid mobile number
Please select the Category

Subscribe to our newsletter

Understand insurance better by reading our helpful guides, articles, blogs and other information.

Please enter valid name
Please enter valid Email

Error message here