Conjunctivitis - Health Center
By Refadoc, Posted on : Saturday, 19 September 2015 - 1:00 pm IST
Conjunctivitis: Basic Overview
Conjunctivitis, which is also known as Pink Eye is an inflammation or an infection within the transparent membrane or the conjunctiva of the eye. Conjunctiva is the membrane which covers the lining between the eyelid and the white part of the eyeball. With the inflammation in the blood vessels of the conjunctiva, the swelling tends to become more pronounced. This inflammation is the sole reason why the whites of the eyes tend to become pinkish or red in colour.
or Conjunctivitis is basically caused due to bacterial or viral infections. Though this infection can prove to be very irritating, it rarely tends to affect the vision of the affected person. Also, treatments can be provided in order to ease the discomfort and the symptoms. Since this disease is contagious, therefore it is recommended to look for the treatment options within time.
Some of the major causes of Conjunctivitis can be as follows:
- Viral infections
- Bacterial infections
- Chemical reaction with the eye membrane
- Foreign object within the eye
- Blockage in the tear ducts ( in case of infants)
Conjunctivitis which is caused either due to bacterial or a viral infection tends to affect either one or both the eyes at the same time. Usually a watery discharge accompanies viral infections. In case of a bacterial infection, a thicker and yellowish green discharge is accompanied. The viral and bacterial infections can be very contagious and requires immediate attention and consultation from a medical practitioner
. They can spread from one person to the other via direct or indirect contact. Adults and children are at an equal risk to suffer from these infections.
Allergic Conjunctivitis is caused due to an allergy which maybe caused due to any allergen such as pollen grains. The body and the WBC’s release immunoglobulins, which trigger the antibodies. Histamine, which is one of the major antibody cells, causes the pink eye. Intense itching, tearing as well as inflammation of the eyes are the major signs and symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis.
In some cases, conjunctivitis could be caused due to an external foreign object which enters the eye. The signs and symptoms of this type of conjunctivitis may include mucous secretions and watery eyes which tend to clear out on its own.
Signs and Symptoms of Conjunctivitis:
Some of the major signs and symptoms of Conjunctivitis are as follows:
- Redness in either one or both the eyes
- Itchiness in either one or both the eyes
- Gritty feeling in either one or both the eyes
- A discharge from the eyes, which forms a crust when the person is asleep
- Frequent tearing up of the eyes
- Itchiness and burning sensation in the eyes
- Blurring of the vision
- An increased sensitivity towards light
Early diagnosis and treatment should be taken in order to treat Conjunctivitis. It is recommended to stop wearing contact lens as soon as an infection flares up. If the symptoms do not appear to recede within the next 12-24 hours, then it is recommended to make an appointment with the doctor soon in order to prevent further infection.
Tests and Diagnosis of Conjunctivitis:
To determine the condition of the patient, doctors
usually tends to go in for a normal eye examination test. Apart from this, the doctor also tends to take down a sample of the eye secretion for laboratory testing in order to check if a patient is suffering from a severe case of the disease. Also, this lab testing is essential in order to check if the cornea of the eye has been affected or not.
Repeated eye infections which are not responding well to the treatments too need laboratory testing.
Treatment and Drugs for Conjunctivitis:
Different treatment options are available for different kinds of Conjunctivitis. The treatment option is based on the causative factor of the disease.
Antibiotic Eye drops are the best prescription for treating bacterial conjunctivitis. The infection tends to go away after a couple of days. Antibiotic eye ointments can be prescribed for children. The ointment can easily be applied to the children. The doctor’s instructions should be used during the complete period of the use of the antibiotics.
There is no particular treatment for viral conjunctivitis. Since the virus needs its own time to run, this can range from either two to three weeks. Viral conjunctivitis tends to start with one eye and then spreads to the other eye. The symptoms tend to clear on their own after sometime. Antiviral medications are also one of the best treatment options for viral conjunctivitis.
Eye drops are prescribed to people who suffer from allergic conjunctivitis. These medications tend to control the allergic reactions in people such as the ones which are caused due to antihistamines and mast cell stabilizers.
These medications control the inflammation and range from decongestants, steroids as well as anti inflammatory drugs.
Immediate consultation should be sought for Viral and bacterial conjunctivitis. You can view the details of Ophthalmologists here.