(HealthDay News) -- Conjunctivitis occurs when the membrane that protects the eye, the conjunctiva, becomes inflamed. A red, watery eye is a primary symptom of this very contagious condition.
The University of Virginia Health System says possible causes of conjunctivitis include:
- An viral or bacterial infection.
- An allergic reaction, often to a seasonal allergen.
- Irritation from air pollutants or smoke.
- Irritation from soap, chlorine or cosmetics.
- Irritation from a chemical that makes contact with the eye.
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