Question: What is allergic conjunctivitis and how does it differ from other forms of conjunctivitis (bacterial/viral)?
Answer: Allergic conjunctivitis is, to the patient, red and itchy eyes. Itchiness is really typical of allergic conjunctivitis. If you don't have itching, you probably don't have allergic conjunctivitis. This is opposed to other types of conjunctivitis such as bacterial and viral conjunctivitis. They virtually never have itching. They can have irritation, but not itching. Now the treatment of a viral or bacterial conjunctivitis is vastly different than from that of an allergic conjunctivitis. In allergic conjunctivitis there is no infection, there's no virus, there's no bacteria. So you don't use antibiotics. You use other medications to reduce the itching and the redness in an allergic conjunctivitis patient. It's more important to make that distinction.