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Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis |Healthier Me Today

Pink eye results from inflammation and irritation of the eye. This is an infection that affects many people. However, there are many causes of conjunctivitis, and it may not be a severe case, often healing in a short period.

However, if it is prolonged, it can cause some damage. With treatment, it may clear up, but if not, then medical advice should be sought out. 

It affects the white of the eye and gives pinkish and reddish colorations, contributing to its more commonly known name. There are various types of conditions, but all result in similar symptoms. 

Causes

There are a few leading causes of conjunctivitis, and they can range in severity. The most common reasons for pink eye include; 

Viral and bacterial infections

This is where it is passed on by someone with the virus or due to a cold or respiratory infection virus being spread to the eye. Wearing uncleaned contacts or those that aren’t their own can cause bacterial conjunctivitis. In both viral and bacterial cases, they are very contagious. 

Allergic conjunctivitis

This happens in response to an allergy-causing substance. Often affecting both eyes. Your body’s release of histamine will most likely produce signs of allergy and symptoms that will include red or pink eyes.

Conjunctivitis resulting from Irritation

Irritation from a foreign object in the eyes, is also classified as conjunctivitis. Redness can occur when you attempt to flush or get rid of the object in your eye. 

Symptoms

The main symptom of conjunctivitis is a reddish appearance in the white of the eye, but this is not the only symptom. There are a few others that include;

  • Itchy eyes
  • Eye discharge
  • Watery eye
  • Light sensitivity 
  • foreign -body sensation in the eye
  • Burning 
  • Stinging 
  • Increased tear production
  • The pink or red coloring of the eye
  • Swelling
  • Crusting of eyelashes and eyelids
  • Uncomfortability wearing contact lenses or not staying in the correct place
  • irritation

Stages of Conjunctivitis

There are different stages of conjunctivitis. As previously discussed, there are two types, and for each, there is a different progression process. 

Stages of viral pink eye 

  • In the early stages conjunctivitis, cold-like symptoms may appear. Such as sinus congestion and coughing. However, not all cases start like this.
  • There will be a feeling of scratching in the eye, and you may notice that the eye is becoming more watery.
  • There will be an increase in irritation and itchiness.
  • The sclera (white of the eye) will become pinker in color.
  • As it is contagious, you may notice symptoms starting to appear in your other eye as well.
  • These symptoms will likely subside in a week or two.

Stages of bacterial pink eye

  • This may start with the same symptoms and feel as if it is viral conjunctivitis.
  • Bacterial conjunctivitis will include drainage of pus, resulting in crusting around the eye.
  • This eye may be difficult to open when you wake up due to the discharge sticking to the eyelids.
  • You will be contagious as long as the symptoms last and can also infect your other eye if not done so already.
  • The symptoms will last about three weeks, but this does depend from patient to patient and the type of bacteria infecting the eye.

Viral pink eye is a more mild type of conjunctivitis and typically does not need much to clear up, whereas bacterial conjunctivitis is worse and will require medical intervention.

Treatment

The treatment will depend on whether it is bacterial or viral conjunctivitis. Often in most cases, it will clear up on its own without the need for medical treatment. 

Treatment focuses on relieving the symptoms of conjunctivitis. However, it may be challenging to determine on your own which type you have, so it is recommended to see a doctor.

Viral conjunctivitis treatment – does not need medical medication and will likely run its course and heal independently. There are, however, relieving treatments that you can get over the counter to help with the symptoms. It usually takes several days to subside. 

Bacterial conjunctivitis treatment – if left untreated, it can cause vision loss. However, with the help of prescription antibiotic eye drops, it will clear up within a week or two.

Allergic conjunctivitis treatment

The use can treat this allergy medication. However, to help prevent this from happening, it is advised to start medication before allergy season, and flare-ups start.


FAQ

  1. How can I reduce the discomfort of conjunctivitis? To help deal with pink eye, you can rinse your eye out a few times a day, try not to rub the infected eye, avoid straining your eyes, avoid swimming and use a separate unused towel for your face.
  2. Are you immune to pink after you’ve had it? This is incorrect. You can pink eye multiple times in your life. It depends on whether or not you avoid aggravates of conjunctivitis. 
  3. Are there home remedies to treat pink eye? Yes, make sure that the solution you use is safe and do not trust every remedy on the internet. Mainly these home remedies will aid in the relief of conjunctivitis symptoms. Consult with your doctor before trying a home remedy on yourself or your child.  

Healthier Me Today is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment. Always consult with your healthcare professional. Stay healthy!

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