What Is It?

An inflammation of the eyelid's underside and white part of the eye.


  • Clear, green or yellow discharge from the eye
  • Crusts on lashes that cause eyelids to stick together after sleeping
  • Swollen eyelids
  • Sensitivity to bright light
  • Redness and gritty feeling in the eye
  • Intense itching


  • Viral infection
  • Bacterial infection
  • Chemical irritation or wind, dust, smoke, air pollution, or home chemicals
  • Cosmetics, pollen, or other allergens
  • A partially closed tear duct
  • Intense light, such as from sunlamps or snow reflection

Preventive Measures

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and warm water
  • Do NOT share eye makeup or cosmetics, towels or washcloths
  • Avoid exposure to eye irritants


  • Make an appointment at the Health Center to see if antibiotic eye drops are needed
  • Warm moist compresses can be applied to the closed eye for relief
  • Do not touch the infected eye because the infection will spread to the good eye
  • Remove contact lenses and leave out as long as the eye is irritated or being treated

For more information contact the UNC Student Health Center at 351-2412.