Your are covered by a transparent membrane called the conjunctiva and when this becomes inflamed, it causes conjunctivitis.
There are three main types: irritant; allergic and infective.
'Infective conjunctivitis, caused by viruses, bacteria or sexually transmitted infections, such as chlamydia, is very common and causes about 35 per cent of all eye related problems in GPs' surgeries and different bugs cause different levels of discomfort,
Irritant conjunctivitis occurs when chemicals like chlorine, shampoo, smoke, or a stray eyelash irritate your eyes and rubbing them makes it worse. If your eyes are sensitive to pollen from grass, flowers or trees, you may develop allergic conjunctivitis, which becomes more common as summer approaches.
Common symptoms include reddened, oozy and itchy eyes, which may feel sticky when you wake up in the morning
'Some patients report a burning sensation, although their vision is not affected
'Although infected eyes are uncomfortable and look terrible, most symptoms normally clear up within a week or two and don't lead to long-term eye damage. Your GP can prescribe antibiotics if your inflammation persists.'
However, always see your GP if your newborn child develops conjunctivitis because babies are at risk of developing eye damage