What is Conjunctivitis and its Treatments?

Mon Jun 20 2022

Have you heard of Pink Eye before? If you answered no, this blog is for you because it will tell you everything you need to know about it. Furthermore, you will learn how to treat pink eye. Keep reading if this topic concerns you! 

So, Pink eye, or Conjunctivitis, is an inflammation of the conjunctiva. Conjunctiva is the thin transparent membrane that borders the inside of the eyelid and covers the white part of the eyeball. Children frequently develop this condition. 

You should be aware that conjunctivitis is very contagious, therefore, special measures need to be undertaken to prevent it’s spread as much as possible.

Though pink eye can be really irritating, it rarely affects your vision. Timely diagnosis & treatment not only helps ease the discomfort of pink eye to a large extent but also helps prevent the rare complications & sequela of conjunctivitis. Early diagnosis & treatment of conjunctivitis also helps limit its community spread.

What Causes Conjunctivitis?

When the blood vessels in the superficial thin transparent layer covering your eye (the conjunctiva) become irritated, they become more visible, resulting in pink eye. The following factors lead to the inflammation:

  • Virus

The most prevalent cause of pink eye is viral infection. Pink eye can be caused by viruses such as the common cold or flu virus or COVID-19.

  • Bacteria

Staphylococcus aureus and Haemophilus influenza are two common bacteria that cause bacterial Conjunctivitis. For such cases, there is separate bacterial conjunctivitis treatment. 

  • Common Allergens

Molds, pollen, and other chemicals that cause allergies are examples of allergens. There are again separate allergic conjunctivitis treatments when you get this disease via allergens.

  • Irritating Substances

Shampoos, cosmetics, contact lenses, grime, tobacco, and pool chlorine are all irritating compounds that irritate the conjunctiva & cause pink eye. 

What Are The Symptoms?

  • Redness of one or both eyes
  • Excessive watering or tearing of one or both eyes
  • Discharge from the eye, whitish or yellowish, often forming crusts & matting the eyelashes on waking up from sleep 
  • Itchy feeling in one or both eyes
  • Gritty feeling in one or both eyes
  • Burning sensation in one or both eyes
  • Rarely, Blurred vision
  • Intolerance to lights
  • Swollen eyelids

Sometimes, conjunctivitis may cause eye pain, a feeling that something is stuck in your eye (foreign body sensation), blurred vision and increased light sensitivity or intolerance to lights. If you experience these symptoms, seek urgent care.

Conjunctivitis Treatments

The treatment of Conjunctivitis usually depends on its cause. So, for example, if you’re suffering from pink eye and the source is allergies, the treatment would be different from what a doctor would prescribe if the source is bacteria. Read further to understand the treatments better!

  • Treatment For Conjunctivitis Caused By Virus

Pink eye triggered by a virus is not treatable with antibiotics. This type of pink eye can stay anywhere from four to seven days, but it can take up to 14 days to fully clear, just like a cold. To avoid pain, apply a cold compress several times a day. It is one of the viral conjunctivitis treatments. If your condition is not recovering, call your doctor immediately. They may prescribe you some eyedrops or ointments to make you comfortable. 

  • Treatment For Conjunctivitis Caused By Bacteria

If bacteria is the root of your pink eye, you’ll be prescribed medication (eye drops, ointments, or pills). Remember that applying cream to your or your child’s eye may be tricky. So, while applying, follow proper technique as advised & take proper precautions. 

Within a week, the infection should be gone. Even if your symptoms go away earlier than written, take the prescription as directed by your healthcare practitioner.

Contact lens care & hygiene is of utmost importance to avoid the introduction of unnecessary eye infections. 

  • Treatment For Conjunctivitis Caused By Allergies

If your eyes become irritated from a substance getting into them, rinse them for a few minutes with a gentle stream of warm water. Within a few hours, you’ll notice the difference in how your eyes look and feel. You should know that Conjunctivitis cold compress treatment (for allergic/allergies) is best used in such cases. 

  • Contact lens wearers

Contact lens care & hygiene is of utmost importance to avoid the introduction of unnecessary eye infections. 
People who wear contact lenses need to stop wearing their contacts as soon as pink eye symptoms begin. If your symptoms don’t start to get better within 12 to 24 hours, make an appointment with your eye doctor to make sure you don’t have a more serious eye infection related to contact lens use.

Overall, it’s best to look into preventative measures so that you don’t have to look for treatments. You can do that by following simple rules such as washing hands before touching your eyes, removing eye makeup properly, not using harsh cosmetics with potential allergens near your eyes, washing your eyes properly, and taking proper care of your eyes. 

Why CFS?

Centre for Sight is one of India’s best eye care chains, with thousands of satisfied patients. Our experts understand how to quickly diagnose and treat myriad problems to ensure that all our patients have great vision and proper eye health.

Article: What is Conjunctivitis and its Treatments?
Author: CFS Editorial Team   |   Jun 20 2022 | UPDATED 02:00 IST
*The views expressed here are solely those of the author in his private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of Centre for Sight.

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