What is follicular conjunctivitis?

Follicular conjunctivitis is inflammation of the conjunctiva, which is the membrane that covers the eyeball. When the conjunctiva becomes infected, whether with a virus, bacteria, or allergen, it becomes red and irritated. This particular type of conjunctivitis, or conjunctivitis, is usually caused by a virus, such as chickenpox or herpes simplex, though it can also come from chlamydia, a cold, or an allergy to certain medications. It is often distinguished from other types of conjunctivitis by the yellow and pink sores that can appear on the eyelids, as these are lymph node tissue. Like viral conjunctivitis in general, the best cure is often time, as antibiotics cannot treat it effectively.

The symptoms of follicular conjunctivitis are similar to those that appear in most cases of conjunctivitis. For example, the eye is often irritated and red, with the sensation of a foreign body inside it. Many people also notice yellow or green discharge, puffy eyes, and a fever. Unlike other types of conjunctivitis, follicular conjunctivitis is often accompanied by swelling and discomfort in the lymph nodes found in the ears. Of course, the lymphatic tissue in the lower eyelid is often swollen as well.

There are several viruses that can cause follicular conjunctivitis, including herpes simplex, herpes zoster, and adenovirus. Of course, more common conditions can also cause this type of conjunctivitis, such as a cold or any number of different allergens. For example, if dust, pollen, or smoke gets into the eye, the conjunctiva can become red and swollen. An allergic reaction can also be caused by prescription medications, particularly eye drops used to treat conditions such as glaucoma.

Some sexually transmitted diseases can also cause follicular conjunctivitis. For example, gonorrhea is a disease that affects the mucous membranes, so it is not surprising that the eyes of patients with this sexually transmitted disease are also affected by conjunctivitis. Also, chlamydia is the cause of some cases of this condition, although it is rare and usually only babies are affected. This is because newborns can catch the disease from their mother at birth, but eye drops are often given to babies born to infected mothers to prevent the condition from forming after delivery.

Similar to most other types of conjunctivitis, the follicular type cannot be cured with medication, but its symptoms can be treated while it heals. For example, artificial eye drops can be used to help remove the gritty, dry feeling, providing some relief while you wait for time and rest to heal the eye. Despite the lack of treatment options, those who suspect they have this condition are advised to see a doctor for an official diagnosis.

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