What is Conjunctivitis?
Swelling and inflammation of conjunctiva are known as conjunctivitis. The eyelid inner surface is covered by a thin transparent layer known as conjunctiva. Also, it protects sclera the white part of the eye.
Many people recognize this common eye disease by the name of pink eye. It is mainly found in children probably in both eyes or only one eye and is highly contagious so it can be spread easily in school or homes.
Conjunctivitis is a minor eye infection but can be converted in no time a major problem if left untreated.
Chlorine used in swimming pools, pollen, ingredients used in cosmetics pollen or the other things which come in contact with the eyes can be one of the causes of Allergic conjunctivitis. It is also due to bacteria’s and viruses.
There are three types of conjunctivitis and causes depend on the type of conjunctivitis you are experiencing.
Allergic conjunctivitis: People who have seasonal allergies are more prone to allergic Conjunctivitis happens when their eyes come in contact with substances that trigger an allergic reaction to their eyes.
The presence of a foreign particle in the eye can develop giant papillary conjunctivitis; a type of allergic conjunctivitis.
Infectious Conjunctivitis: Staphylococcal bacteria present in your skin or in your respiratory tract can lead you to bacterial conjunctivitis.
Poor hygiene (contact of dirty hands), insects, contaminated makeup and facial lotions are some other causes which can lead you to bacterial Conjunctivitis.
Viral conjunctivitis is mainly spread due to common cold; it can also develop by the coughing or sneezing of someone who is experiencing respiratory tract infection.
Pathogens easily spread down with your mucous membrane in a neck, rip ducts, lungs and nose.
Blowing your nose forcefully will make the virus to travel from your respiratory track to your eyes as tears are drained through your nasal passage way.
Chemical conjunctivitis: Contact of your eyes with toxic chemicals or smoke, dirt, and chlorine in pools can trigger chemical conjunctivitis.
The Symptoms mainly depend on the type of conjunctivitis you are prone too; one of the primary symptoms is the pink appearance of the eye:
Viral conjunctivitis: Your eyes will be watery and you will experience sensitivity to light as well as itchy eyes. It can be easily spread through coughing or sneezing. Furthermore, your both eyes can be affected or only one of them.
Bacterial Conjunctivitis: You will experience a sticky discharge of yellowish-green color at the corner of your eye. I most of the cases it is found that excessive discharge can lead your eyelids to be stuck together when you wake up from a sound sleep.
One or both eyes can be affected by the direct contact of dirty and infected hands. It is also highly contagious like virus Conjunctivitis.
Allergic conjunctivitis: Same as viral conjunctivitis you will experience watery, itchy and burning eyes. It is not contagious like the other two type of conjunctivitis but it affects both of the eyes. A person may have a runny nose with stuffiness and light sensitivity.
How is conjunctivitis diagnosed?
An eye examination will give you fair results about pink eye. Screening of conjunctiva with a special focus and encircling the tissues include:
1. If any environmental condition is worsening the condition; patients history for looking the symptoms.
2. To see that vision has been damaged or not by measurements of visual acuity.
3. Magnification and glow light helps to study the external structure of eye and conjunctiva.
4. Also to study that no internal cells are harmed by the infection.
5. When it is difficult to answer the problem; supplemental testing helps you to gain it. In a case of chronic conjunctivitis extract smears and cultures of the conjunctiva.
The results obtained will help your optometrist to treat your infection as soon as possible in case the results come positive.
How is conjunctivitis treated?
Conjunctivitis can be treated with setting up three goals; which include:
One should increase the patient’s comfort.
The problem should be diagnosed and treated quickly to lessen the pain or inflammation.
Prevent the spreading of infection as viral and bacterial conjunctivitis are contagious.
The treatment that should be given to the patient always depends upon the cause:
Allergic conjunctivitis: The first step to the ladder of treatment is to finish the irritant as soon as possible. The unnatural tears, as well as cool compresses, bring comfort to the patient.
However, in an emergency or in serious condition one should be approved to take antihistamines also, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines.
People who are prone to this infection for a long span of time they may need topical ointment steroid attention drops.
Bacterial conjunctivitis: Ointments and antibiotic eye drops are mostly the cure of bacterial conjunctivitis. Three or four times of treatment may cure bacterial conjunctivitis however, it is important for the patient to complete the course as bacteria’s then might become resistant and immune to this disease.
Viral conjunctivitis: Whether it is eye drops or the ointments, it can not treat viral conjunctivitis as antibiotics do not work for viral infections.
Unnatural tear and cool compresses are the alternatives to cure this infection or give relief to the patient.To decrease the irritation topical ointment steroid drops are given but this will not cure the infection.
Chemical conjunctivitis: Use of saline for the treatment of chemical conjunctivitis is the best way. Topical ointment steroid may also be needed for the treatment of those people who are experiencing chemical conjunctivitis.
If In any case there is a contact of chemical with your eye wash your eye thoroughly with lots and lots of water before you seek medical aid.
People who wear Contact lens: Those people who wear contact lens should leave them when they are experiencing conjunctivitis; also, seek guidance from your doctor.
Disinfection solution or using a different type of lens will be the best way for the treatment of the infection if it is due to wearing of the lens. Or, your optometrist will change the lens with the one you change mostly. This will help you to stop conjunctivitis from recurring.
Self-care: Taking care of your hygiene in the best possible way will help you to prevent conjunctivitis spread. Once your doctor has diagnosed that you are experiencing any type of conjunctivitis follow these instructions:
I. Avoid touching and rubbing your eyes with the help of your hands.
II. Your hands should always be clean, wash it thoroughly with lots of water.
III. Avoid sharing your personal accessories with others like towels, cosmetics, clothes, and items related to the eye; try to change them on daily basis (towels and clothes).
IV. Eye cosmetics should be discarded.
V. Consider an eye specialist for your lens care.
Soothing by warm compresses can to you one or both eyes can relieve pain up to 70%. For making a compress take a clean piece of cloth, soak it in warm water and gently apply it on your eyelids.
However, for allergic conjunctivitis, use cool compresses to relieve your pain. Also, eye drops might also help you to alleviate the pain.