You asked

Are there different types of conjunctivitis?

There are three main types of conjunctivitis and depending on the cause, the symptoms may vary:
  • Bacterial conjunctivitis; caused by bacteria. This condition will affect both eyes, which will feel gritty and have a sticky discharge. The eyes will be very red and the discharge may cause them to be stuck together particularly in the mornings.
  • Viral conjunctivitis; caused by viral infections, such as the common cold. The eyes will be red and there will be a watery discharge. The lymph nodes around the ears and neck may become swollen and tender.
  • Allergic conjunctivitis; can be caused by  allergies to animals, allergies to mould and dust and allergies to pollen. The eyes will be extremely itchy and there will be a watery discharge. The eyes will be intermittently red, and may feel very uncomfortable.
In the vast majority of cases, conjunctivitis will clear up without treatment and poses no threat to the eye. However, in the case of bacterial conjunctivitis, antibiotic drops may be prescribed by your G.P.
Both bacterial and viral conjunctivitis are highly contagious so you should take care to keep your towels, bedding and clothes separate. You should also not wear contact lenses while you have conjunctivitis. 

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