Conjunctivitis, commonly known as "pink eye," is inflammation of the conjunctiva, which is the thin, clear tissue that covers the white part of the eye and lines the inside of the eyelids. It can be caused by a number of factors such as infections, allergies and irritants. Here are some key points about conjunctivitis:
Types of conjunctivitis:
- Infectious conjunctivitis: Caused by bacteria or viral infections. Bacterial conjunctivitis often produces a thick, sticky discharge, while viral conjunctivitis is usually associated with a watery discharge and may be accompanied by cold symptoms.
- Allergic conjunctivitis: Caused by allergens such as pollen, dust mites or pet dander. It usually causes the eyes to become itchy, red and watery.
- Irritant conjunctivitis: Caused by irritants such as smoke, pollution or chemicals. This can cause redness and discomfort.
- Redness of the white part of the eye and the inner eyelids.
- A watery or mucous discharge from the eye.
- Itching, burning or gritty feeling in the eyes.
- Swollen eyelid.
- Light sensitivity.
- Sometimes blurred vision.
- Treatment depends on the cause:
- Infectious conjunctivitis: Bacterial conjunctivitis can be treated with antibiotic eye drops or creams. Viral conjunctivitis usually clears up on its own within a few days or may require some eye drops (after consulting the doctor).
- Allergic conjunctivitis: Antihistamine eye drops or oral antihistamines can help relieve symptoms.
- Irritant conjunctivitis: Eliminating or avoiding the irritant is the first step. Artificial tears can help.
- Applying hot or cold compresses to the eyes can help relieve discomfort.
- Good hygiene practices, such as avoiding touching the eyes and frequent hand washing, can prevent the spread of infectious conjunctivitis.
- Practice good hygiene to prevent the spread of infectious conjunctivitis.
- Avoid rubbing or touching your eyes.
- Wash your hands often, especially after contact with someone who has conjunctivitis.
- If you have allergies, avoid triggers and use allergy medications as prescribed.
Disclaimer: Information published here is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace medical advice. If you suspect that you have a health problem, please consult your doctor immediately