Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis is commonly referred to as “pink eye” or “red eye”. In this people might come up with problems like itching, burning in the eyes, pain or headache. People with conjunctivitis generally have swollen eyes and redness all over the white area of the eye.

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CONJUNCTIVITIS

Conjunctivitis is commonly referred to as “pink eye” or “red eye”. In this people might come up with problems like itching, burning in the eyes, pain or headache. People with conjunctivitis generally have swollen eyes and redness all over the white area of the eye. People might get viral infections along with cold and cough, mild or severe fever. It is easily spread among people or from one eye to the other. It is often advised not to touch your eyes with your hands as the dirt present in your hand might enter your eyes which can cause more problems to your eyes and the bacteria present in the eyes enters your hand which spreads it to different people around you. One must be very careful about all these things and wash their hands immediately if they touch their eyes by mistake. There are several kinds of conjunctivitis each with different ways to be treated.

DIFFERENT KINDS OF CONJUNCTIVITIS 

  • Viral Conjunctivitis: in this people might catch mild fever, cold or cough. These kinds of conjunctivitis are easily spread amongst people and are often suggested to not use other items. In this if people have problems in one eye it generally spreads to the other within days.
  • Bacterial Conjunctivitis: the major problem caused in this is the discharge of pus from the eyes. People are recommended to consult a doctor and get necessary treatment for it. Generally some antibiotic eye drops or ointments are prescribed depending upon various kinds of problems faced by the people. The most common ways the bacterial pink eye happens is by:
    • Sharing personal items with others
    • Touching the eye with dirty hands
    • Using unclean or old makeup or leaving it overnight
  • Allergic Conjunctivitis: major symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis are itching, burning and irritation in the eyes. People might feel there is something present in the eye every time; like some dust particles or sand. The positive thing about allergic conjunctivitis is that it does not spread from one person to the other and is not much severe.

CAUSES OF CONJUNCTIVITIS 

There are three main kinds of conjunctivitis as stated above in the article : allergic, infectious and chemical. The main cause of conjunctivitis differs with the type of conjunctivitis 

Allergic Conjunctivitis

  1. Allergic conjunctivitis is more common among people who suffer from seasonal allergies. They develop conjunctivitis when a substance that triggers the allergy comes into contact with the eye.

  2. Giant papillary conjunctivitis is a kind of allergic conjunctivitis caused by the chronic presence of a foreign body in the eye. People who wear hard or rigid contact lenses, wear soft contact lenses that are not replaced frequently, have an exposed suture on the surface of the eye or have a prosthetic eye are more likely to develop this form of conjunctivitis.

Infectious Conjunctivitis

  1. Bacterial conjunctivitis is an infection which is frequently caused  by staphylococcal or streptococcal bacteria from your own skin or respiratory system. Insects, physical contact with other people, poor hygiene , or using contaminated eye makeup and facial lotions can also cause the infection. Sharing makeup and wearing contact lenses that are not your own or are improperly cleaned can also cause bacterial conjunctivitis.

  2. Viral conjunctivitis is most commonly caused by contagious viruses associated with the common cold. It can develop through exposure to the coughing or sneezing of someone with an upper respiratory tract infection. Viral conjunctivitis can also occur as the virus spreads along the body’s own mucous membranes, which connect the lungs, throat, nose, tear ducts and conjunctiva. Since the tears drain into the nasal passageway, forceful nose blowing can cause a virus to move from your respiratory system to your eyes.

  3. Ophthalmia neonatorum is a severe form of bacterial conjunctivitis that occurs in newborn babies. This is a serious condition that could lead to permanent eye damage if it is not treated immediately. Ophthalmia neonatorum occurs when an infant is exposed to chlamydia or gonorrhea while passing through the birth canal. For several years, U.S. delivery rooms have applied antibiotic ointment to babies’ eyes as a standard prophylactic treatment.

Chemical Conjunctivitis

Chemical Conjunctivitis can be caused by irritants like air pollution, chlorine in swimming pools, and exposure to noxious chemicals.

SYMPTOMS OF CONJUNCTIVITIS 

  • Redness all over the white part in the eye which generally causes itching and burning all over the eye.
  • Swollen eyes or eyelids and commonly occur with bacterial or virus conjunctivitis.
  • Increased discharge of water or pus from the eye.
  • Itching or burning in the eyes is common for all kinds of conjunctivitis. 
  • People might face problems when exposed to light and they also experience blurred visions. They may also have headaches whenever they come in contact with the light and feel dizziness.
  • People always feel that something is there in their eyes, generally kids explain their problems this way and they have this urge to rub their eyes.

TREATMENT FOR CONJUNCTIVITIS

  • Stop using your contact lenses if you are using one as it might be damaged or improper that can cause more problems to your eyes.
  • Use a new pair of contact lenses after being treated. Start wearing them only after consulting your doctor.
  • Stop wearing any kind of eye makeup while you have an infection as it is very harmful for the eyes.
  • Do not apply old makeup as it causes pinkeye.
  • Use a fresh towel every day to maintain hygiene. 
  • Wash your hands often, especially after you touch your eyes to avoid spreading the infection.
  • Do not share anything that comes in contact with your eyes with other people as this infection is communicable.
  • Put a cool, damp washcloth over your eyes for a few minutes, it controls the burns and itching for some period of time and keeps the eyes cool and clean.
  • Rinse your eyes at least 4-5 times; especially rinse it before going to bed.  

TREATMENT AND MEDICATIONS PROVIDED BY THE DOCTORS 

Doctors generally prescribe several antibiotic eye drops and they might provide you with medicines depending upon your conjunctivitis or your condition to cope up with it. The first and the foremost thing you should do is to give some rest to your eyes. Make sure you do not miss your appointments with the doctor even if you think you are cured do not stop your medications if your doctor has not asked you to do so. Missing out medicines can increase the problems as your infection may not be cured by the roots by then.

 EFFECTS OF CONJUNCTIVITIS MEDICATIONS

Common side effects include stinging or burning of the eyes. People might experience temporary blurred or unstable vision after applying eye ointment. More serious side effects include rash, itching, or burning eyes, redness, pain, swelling in or around the eyes and vision problems. Side effects of medications include dry mouth, drowsiness, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, restlessness, trouble urinating or confusion.  People might experience any other kind of problem even after taking the medications. It is always advised to consult a doctor before trying anything on your own.

CONJUNCTIVITIS IN NEWBORNS

Newborns with symptoms of conjunctivitis should see a doctor right away as it can be very serious. Conjunctivitis in a new born may be caused by blocked tear duct, irritation produced by the antimicrobials given at birth, or infection with a virus or bacteria passed from the mother to her baby during delivery. Mothers without any symptoms at the time of delivery can carry and pass viruses or bacteria to her babies. Therefore the woman who is about to deliver a child must be very careful about her health and should go up with all the necessary medical examinations needed. She should keep herself and her surroundings clean as this period is prone to infections. If there is any sign of fever, cold or any other symptoms she should contact the doctor immediately. The most important thing that she should keep in mind is she should not use any product or item that is used by any other person. It is advised for them to not visit any sight that has dirt and sand around it rather they are expected to stay at home and focus on their health. Too much medicine during the time of pregnancy is also not advised and it is harmful for the baby. 

 CONCLUSION

Conjunctivitis is a very common eye problem and it occurs to many. You should not be frightened if you have red eyes rather follow all the steps mentioned above. First and foremost thing you should do is to make sure you follow hygiene patterns and not share your things with others as it is easily spread between different people. If you are facing trouble even after applying ointments or eye drops make sure you consult the doctor as soon as it is possible . Take rest properly and avoid spending too much time on screens such as television, laptops or mobile phones as it can damage your visions. Do not take any kind of medicines without consulting a doctor. Stay hydrated and keep on rinsing your eyes with cold water so that you feel less itchy and it controls the burns in the eyes.