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Conjunctivitis - Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

 

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Conjunctivitis, is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, the clear membrane that covers the white part of the eye and the inner surface of the eyelids. Conjunctivitis, commonly known as "pink eye," is most often caused by a virus but also can be caused by bacterial infection, allergies (e.g., cosmetics, pollen) and chemical irritation. Conjunctivitis is the most common eye disease in the western hemisphere and varies in severity from mild inflammation with tearing to a severe inflammation that causes tissue injury and tissue death. Bacterial conjunctivitis presents with a red eye, pus discharge, a gritty sensation, and occasionally sticking shut of the eyelids. Viral conjunctivitis follows an upper respiratory infection such as the common cold. While pinkeye can sometimes be alarming because it may make the eyes extremely red and can spread rapidly, it's a fairly common condition and usually causes no long-term eye or vision damage. But if your child shows symptoms of pinkeye, it's important to see a doctor. Some kinds of pinkeye go away on their own, but other types require treatment.

Acute conjunctivitis is redness and soreness (inflammation) of the clear covering (the conjunctiva) which coats the white of the eye and lines the inside of the eye lids. Conjunctivitis can be caused by a virus, bacteria, irritating substances (shampoos, dirt, smoke, and especially pool chlorine), allergens (substances that cause allergies) or transmitted diseases (STDs). Pink eye caused by bacteria, viruses, and STDs can spread easily from person to person, but is not a serious health risk if diagnosed promptly.

Causes of Conjunctivitis

The common Causes of Conjunctivitis :

  • The commonest cause is infection with bacteria.
  • Allergic reactions, eg hayfever , may cause conjunctivitis, but do not usually cause a sticky discharge.
  • Virus infection may also occur.
  • Air pollution or chemical irritants may lead to conjunctivitis.
  • A partially blocked tear duct is a possible cause.

Symptoms of Conjunctivitis

Some common Symptoms of Conjunctivitis :

  • The eye is itchy or painful.
  • Blurred vision
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Redness in the eyes
  • Tearing.
  • Itching of the eye
  • Red, irritated eye.
  • Swelling of the conjunctiva and eyelids.

Treatment of Conjunctivitis

  • Over the counter eye cleansing solution can also soothe the eyes, but in the presence of a bacterial infection, you need to see the doctor as antibiotic eye drops or ointment are necessary. In some rare infections, antibiotics are also given by mouth.
  • If the patient's eyes are sensitive to light, keep the room dark or suggest that he wear dark glasses.
  • To prevent further spread of inclusion conjunctivitis, wash your hands thoroughly before and after administering eye medications.
  • Use warm or cool water compresses to reduce discomfort.
  • If your doctor thinks that the problem is allergic, then you may be prescribed antihistamines , sodium cromoglycate eye drops, or nedocromil eye drops.
  • Be sure to wash hands with soap and water before and after using eye medication.
  • If the problem is a virus infection, then it will not respond to antibiotics, and your body will have to fight off the infection.