1.What is Conjunctivitis?
Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye is the term that is used to describe a condition when the eye becomes inflamed. There is irritation or swelling in the eye, it becomes red or pink and there may be mucus. Also, it is highly contagious.
It affects the conjunctiva, i.e., the thin layer of cells or membrane between the inner surface and white portion of the eye. The inflammation causes the tiny vessels or the capillaries to become more prominent, which in turn causes a lot of discomfort and makes the eye pink or red. This can last for a few days or in some cases for a few weeks too.
Conjunctivitis causes –
Conjunctivitis can be caused by a virus or bacteria. It can be caused by the herpes virus or the other bacterias. Also, bacterial conjunctivitis can be caused by a sexually transmitted infection.
It is highly contagious and can be easily passed from one person to another.
Also, it can be caused due to allergy, infection, or irritation.
Conjunctivitis symptoms –
The conjunctivitis symptoms include the following –
- Redness, irritation and widening of the blood vessels in the conjunctiva area.
- The tear glands become overactive that results in the shiny and watery eye.
- Presence of mucus or a sticky coating on the eyelashes.
- Swelling in the eye due to too much rubbing.
Types of conjunctivitis-
There are basically three types of conjunctivitis –
- Irritant conjunctivitis – It is due to the irritation in the eye. The eye swells or becomes red. It can be due to the eyelash that comes in the eye or due to the chlorine water in the pool.
- Allergic conjunctivitis – It can be caused when dust, pollen, or something comes in contact with the eye. It can result in a lot of irritation or inflammation.
- Infective conjunctivitis – It can be caused by a bacteria or virus that makes the eye red and watery. Also, a sticky coat or mucus can be found in the eye.
Conjunctivitis prevention –
You can prevent the conjunctivitis by following these preacautions –
- Avoid rubbing or touching the eyes.
- Wash the hands or use sanitizer before touching the eyes.
- Never forget to remove the contact lenses at night and follow all the basic lens hygiene.
- Clean your eyeglasses regularly.
- Avoid sharing your personal items like a towel, pillow or makeup with anyone.
- If you do swimming, remember to use goggles in order to save yourself from the infection.
Conjunctivitis diagnosis –
The doctor can easily diagnose the conjunctivitis just by looking at the symptoms. In some cases, the conjunctivitis test is to be done. Though it can be easily diagnosed at home, if the symptoms persist for more than 3-4 days, it is recommended to consult a doctor immediately. The treatment differs for different types of conjunctivitis. Also, various precautions should be taken so that it does not spread to the ones who come in contact with you.
Conjunctivitis treatment –
Although most conjunctivitis cases can be resolved within 2 weeks without consulting a doctor, it is recommended to consult a doctor. They will prescribe eyedrops and medications that can help in reducing the swelling or redness.
- Antibiotics – It should be taken after consulting a doctor, also it should be taken in case the symptoms are severe.
- Eye drop – It should also be taken by the prescription of a doctor. The ointments and eye drops are put straight into the eye. The ointments are recommended for the infants over the eye drops as it is easy to apply.
- Self-care – You can do various home remedies to ease and speed up the recovery process like avoid rubbing eyes, remove the lenses, clean the eyes properly, etc.
In case the symptoms are severe, like pain in the eyes, loss of vision, too much redness, etc. it is recommended to consult an ophthalmologist immediately.
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