Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye is a short-lived eye condition that could be caused by a bacterial or viral infection or allergic reaction. Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the eye’s conjunctiva, the thin clear tissue that lies over the white surface of the eye and lines the inside of the eyelid.
Conjunctivitis usually resolves within two weeks without treatment, but care should be taken as it is highly contagious and can spread via direct touch or an item used by the infected person. With proper care and a few home remedies, you can relieve the discomfort due to itchiness and inflammation.
What Is Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)?
Conjunctivitis is a very common, yet contagious eye infection in both children and adults. It occurs when there is an inflammation (redness) of the conjunctiva and can occur in one or both eyes.
What Causes Conjunctivitis?
The tell-tale sign of conjunctivitis is usually redness of the eye. This occurs when the blood vessels in the conjunctiva become puffy and irritated.
Conjunctivitis occurs due to several reasons such as:
- Irritants such as dirt and smoke
- Allergic reaction to eye drops
- Allergic reaction to pollen
- Fungi and parasites
What Are The Symptoms Of Conjunctivitis?
The symptoms depend on the cause of pink eye, as different causes may have different reactions. But the most common symptoms of conjunctivitis include:
- Redness in the eye or inner eyelid
- Swollen conjunctiva
- Thick yellow discharge with crusts
- Colored discharge from the eye
- Itchy eyes
- Burning sensation and blurred vision
- Sensitivity to light
- Swollen lymph nodes
Treating Different Types Of Conjunctivitis
The different types of conjunctivitis have different treatment methods. So the first step to treating this type of eye problem is to identify your existing issue.
Types of conjunctivitis:
- Bacterial Conjunctivitis
- Allergic Conjunctivitis
- Viral Conjunctivitis
- Follicular Conjunctivitis
- Neonatal Conjunctivitis
Conjunctivitis Diagnosis And Treatment:
Let’s dive deeper into the five different types of conjunctivitis and learn about their symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment.
|Type of Conjunctivitis||Symptoms and Diagnosis||Treatment|
|1. Bacterial Conjunctivitis||Bacterial conjunctivitis is highly contagious. Symptoms include sore, red eyes with sticky mucus-like discharge in the eye.||The doctor may prescribe an antibiotic, usually in the form of eye drops or ointment, for bacterial conjunctivitis.|
|2. Allergic Conjunctivitis||Allergic conjunctivitis is not contagious. You can complete your daily tasks without worrying about spreading it to anyone.||Pink eye, caused by an allergy should be examined by a doctor. This will help identify the allergen, treat and prevent this eye condition.|
|3. Viral Conjunctivitis||Viral conjunctivitis is the most frequent type of conjunctivitis, especially in children. It is very contagious and often spreads through schools and other congested public places. Symptoms include red eyes with a watery discharge.||There is no treatment for viral conjunctivitis. The virus has to run its course (like a cold), which may take up to two weeks.|
|4. Follicular Conjunctivitis||Follicular conjunctivitis is the swelling of the conjunctiva. Follicular conjunctivitis attributes to rounded nodules of grey or white follicles in the conjunctiva.||The first line of treatment is antibiotics prescribed by a doctor. Severe cases may require surgery involving scooping or scraping of the infected areas.|
|5. Neonatal Conjunctivitis||Neonatal conjunctivitis occurs in newborns. Red-eye is the most common symptom and is caused by infection, irritation, or a blocked tear duct.||Doctors usually treat it with a combination of topical (oral, intravenous, or intramuscular) antibiotics.|
Conjunctivitis Home Remedies
There may be no target-specific treatment for conjunctivitis, but there are some simple home remedies to help make you feel better.
1. Use A Compress
Soak some lint-free cotton wipes in water and press them gently over your closed eyelids. If you have conjunctivitis in only one eye, keep the cotton away from the unaffected eye, as the infection can spread. Use a compress for a few minutes at a time, and repeat it several times a day. Dispose of the wipe immediately.
2. Use Eye Drops
Over-the-counter eye drops can help soothe your eyes. Store your eye drops in the refrigerator for a few minutes before using them. This will provide a cooling effect and may make your eyes feel better.
3. Skip Your Contact Lenses
Go without your contact lenses until your pink eye clears up. If you have been using your lenses up until you were down with conjunctivitis, replace your lenses and the case. Bacteria or viruses could still be present and can increase your risk of getting infected again.
When To See A Doctor?
Red or swollen eyes could also occur because of a stye (like a pimple or red area on your eyelid) or some other kind of inflammation. Visit your eye doctor if you have the following symptoms:
- Pain in the eye
- Changes in vision
Conjunctivitis Prevention Tips
If you have pink eye, keep it from spreading to everyone else in the household by following the steps below.
Wash your hands frequently
Try not to touch your eyes
Change towels and pillowcases and wash them in hot water
Do not share towels or pillows
With the multitude of reasons that can cause conjunctivitis, there is no fool-proof roadmap to preventive measures. But early diagnosis and medication can limit the infection from becoming worse. A few basic hygiene steps can curb the spread of this eye infection and also help you recover faster. Conjunctivitis usually disappears on its own within two weeks, but if your symptoms last longer, we recommend you visit your eye doctor for an extensive diagnosis.
1. Is pink eye and conjunctivitis the same thing?
A: Yes, conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, is an inflammation of the conjunctiva.
2. How to tell the difference between viral and bacterial conjunctivitis?
A: Bacterial conjunctivitis appears redder than viral conjunctivitis. The symptoms of bacterial pink eye are a colored discharge, while viral pink eye is indicated by watery eyes.
3. How to stop conjunctivitis from spreading?
A: Wash your hands often with soap and warm water. Avoid touching your eyes and if you do, use a tissue and make sure to discard it immediately. Clean the eyeglasses and cases that you used while infected to avoid infection again.
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