By Dr. Brian McDonough

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Springtime is the season when we see a growing number of cases of a common eye condition called conjunctivitis or pink eye. This is an inflammation or infection of the transparent membrane called the conjunctiva that lines your eyelid and part of your eyeball.

The reason conjunctivitis gets the name pink eye is because it causes an inflammation of small blood vessels in the conjunctiva. They become more prominent and this causes the pink or red cast to the whites of your eyes.

The cause of pink eye is commonly a bacterial or viral infection, an allergic reaction. The inflammation of pink eye can be irritating. If you suspect pink eye, you can take steps to ease your discomfort.

Pink eye tends to be quite contagious so early diagnosis and treatment is best to help limit its spread.

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