Conjunctivitis is an acute, infectious conjunctivitis – inflammation of the transparent membrane lining the inner surface of the eyelids and covers the front white of the eye or sclera. The bacterial infection is responsible for the contagious form of conjunctivitis.The term “pink eye” is often used to describe all or some types of conjunctivitis, not just its acute, contagious form.
The characteristic sign conjunctivitis or pink eye is a pink / red eyes due to inflammation and enlargement of blood vessels in the conjunctiva. Depending on the type of conjunctivitis, other signs and symptoms include yellow eyes or green mucus, watery eyes, itching, light sensitivity and pain.
How do you know what kind of conjunctivitis you have?
- In most cases it is viral conjunctivitis that causes eye watering & a light discharge.
- In other cases it can be bacterial conjunctivitis due to which thick and sticky discharge is observed that is also greenish sometime.
- Also in allergic conjunctivitis that affects both the eyes, an eyes & nose (sometimes) become and nose and also causes eye watering.
- Another conjunctivitis called Giant Papillary also affects both the eyes and can cause heavy discharge, itching and in this it is also observed red bumps on the underside of both the eyelids.
Finding the cause, and then select an appropriate treatment, your ophthalmologist will ask you some questions, examine your eyes and possibly collect a sample on a swab sent for analysis.
What causes conjunctivitis?
Although conjunctivitis can affect people of all ages, is especially common among preschoolers and school because of the amount of bacteria transferred among children.Conjunctivitis can also be caused by a virus, an allergic reaction (to dust, pollen, smoke, fumes or chemicals) or, in the case of giant papillary conjunctivitis, a foreign object in the eye is usually a contact lens. The bacterial and viral infections elsewhere in the body can also cause conjunctivitis.
Prevention for conjunctivitis
Hands should be washed with warm water and soap very often.
Eye irritants should be avoided.
An antibiotic in the form of eye drops needs to be given to babies in hospital.
What if left untreated
If this is not treated in a proper manner than it can damage the cornea permanently that will affect the vision of an individual.
Treatment for conjunctivitis:
- There are various types of treatment depending upon the cause of this disease.
- Hands should be washed often with soap and if possible paper towels should be used to dry. Eyes should not be touched. Gentle wipe is should be done to eyes with care.
- Infection is generally spread once if any of towels, handkerchiefs or cloths that come into contact with infected eyes.
- Condition should be improved within 2 to 3 days and if this does not happen then it can be due to virus or allergy sensitive bacteria. During this stage an ophthalmologist should be consulted to verify the cause of conjunctivitis.
Medication for conjunctivitis can be antiviral eye drops, antibiotics, sulfonamides or ointment to combat infections. Eye specialist not prefer to give steroid drops till this diseases is confirmed.