Boston Ophthalmologist-WHEN PARENTS SEE REDOphthalmology WHEN PARENTS SEE RED Because children indiscriminately rub their eyes and are in close contact with other children at school and in day care, they are highly susceptible to contracting conjunctivitis, or “pink eye.” This very common infectious eye disease produces infl ammation of the conjunctiva, the thin transparent membrane that lines the inner surfaces of the eyelid and folds back to cover the front surface of the eyeball. The fi rst symptom of conjunctivitis is eye discomfort, followed by redness, infl ammation, and a discharge that crusts over. Treatment varies according to type. While bacterial conjunctivitis responds to prescription antibiotic drops or ointment, viral conjunctivitis will disappear on its own. Either can be soothed with warm compresses applied to closed eyes. P.S. Allergic conjunctivitis is an allergic response that may clear up when the allergen is removed.