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Conjunctivitis the pink eye

The pre-monsoon rains (that we so enjoyed) and the warm weather have left their legacy behind — conjunctivitis! Read on to know all the details about this condition…

Also known as pink eye, conjunctivitis is an inflammation or infection of the transparent membrane that lines your eyelid and part of your eyeball. You feel as if there is something in one or both of your eyes that you just can’t remove. When you wake up in the morning, your eyes may seem to be pasted shut from the discharge coming from your eyes. The whites of your eyes may begin to have a pink discol­oration, and you may not see as clearly as you did before. Though the inflammation of pink eye.

Makes it an irritating condi­tion, it rarely affects your sight. If you suspect pink eye, you can take steps to ease your discomfort. But because pink eye can be contagious, it should be diagnosed and treated early. This is especially important for preschool-age children, who commonly develop both viral and bacterial conjunctivitis. Other common causes could be a bacterial or viral infection, an allergic reaction or — in newborns — an incompletely opened tear duct.

Types of pink eye. However, bacterial conjunctivitis is more com­mon in children than it is in adults. Viral infections ore prone to occur as epidemics during rainy season when the body immunity may be low and the conditions ore favourable for spread of infix. Lion. Infection lends to spread by direct contact, fingers, flies and formic’s (e.g towel, toiletries, etc).

V Allergy to dust, pollen, medicines, contact lenses, etc.
Allergic conjunctivitis affects both eyes and is a response to an allergy-causing substance such as pollen. If you have allergic con. junctivitis, you may experience intense itching, tearing and inflammation of the eyes — as well as itching, sneezing and watery nasal discharge. You may also experience swelling of the membrane {conjunctiva) that lines your eyelids and port of your eyebolls, resulting in what may look like clear blisters on the whites of your eyes.

V Chemicals – acid, cosmetics, contact lens cleaning solutions, etc.
Irritation from a chemical splash or foreign object in your eye is also associated with conjunctivitis. Discharge tends to be mucous. Not pus. Sometimes, flushing and cleaning the eye to rid it of the chemical or object causes redness and irritation. Signs and symp. toms usually clear up on their own within about a day.

Symptoms
The most common signs and symptoms of pink eye include:
Redness in one or both eyes
Irritation and itchiness in one or both eyes
Blurred vision and sensitivity to light
Watering
A discharge in one or both eyes that forms a crust during the night
Tearing
Sticking of eyelids
Mild pain
Swelling of eyelids

Treatment
Pink eye con be an irritating condition, but it’s usually harmless to your sight, and typically doesn’t require extensive or emergency treatment. Yet because pink eye can be highly contagious for as long as two weeks after signs and symptoms begin, it’s important to seek diagnosis and treatment early.

Wash the eye gently with clean water. You can soothe the discomfort of pink eye by applying worm compresses to your affected eye or eyes. TO make a compress, soak o clean, lint.free cloth in warm water and wring it out before applying it gently to your closed eyelids.

Your doctor may prescribe antibiotic eye drops if the infec­tion is bacteria/ and the infection should clear within several days of starting treatment.

Antibiotic eye ointment, in place of eye drops, is sometimes prescribed for treating bacterial pink eye in children. An ointment is often easier to administer to an infant or young child than are eye drops. With either form of medicine, you should notice o marked improvement in signs and symptoms within one to two days. 8e sure to use the medication for the entire lime your doc­tor prescribes it, to prevent recurrence of the infection.

For allergic conjunctivitis, ovoid rubbing your eyes so that you don’t release more histamine. Instead, use cool compresses to soothe your eyes. You might also try specially formulated over the-counter eye drops such as Naphcon-A or Opcon.A, which contain an antihistamine and on agent that constricts blood ves­sels.

Viral conjunctivitis cannot be treated with antibiotic eye drops or ointment. Like a common cold, you can use on over-the- counter remedy to relieve some symptoms, but the virus just has to run its course. You may notice o worsening of symptoms in the first three to five days. After that, your signs and symptoms should gradually clear on their own. It may toke up to nvo to three weeks from the time you were infected for the virus to go away.

If the irritation is allergic conjunctivitis, your doctor may pre­scribe one of many different types of eye drops. These may include antihistamines, decongestants, mast cell stabilizers, steroids and anti-inflammatory drops.

Precautions
Practicing good hygiene is the best way to control the spread of pink eye. Some precautions may help in making the patient more comfortable during conjunctivitis and prevent its spread to others. These include:
Discontinue contact lenses immediately
Do not shore handkerchief, towels and other toiletries
Avoid close contact with people suffering from conjunctivitis (casual interaction does not lead to spread of infection)
Wash your hands immediately after taking care of a family member suffering from conjunctivitis
Avoid swimming if you have conjunctivitis
Avoid swimming during epidemics of conjunctivitis
Avoid exposure to dust pollution, chemicals, fumes and bright sunlight
Use sunglasses if you have conjunctivitis to avoid discomfort from bright light and to avoid alarming people around you
Don’t touch your eyes with your hands
Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently
Change your towel and washcloth daily, ond don’t shore them with others
Change your pillowcase often
Discard eye cosmetics, particularly mascara
Don’t use anyone else’s eye Cosmetics Or persona/ eya-care items
Follow your eye doctor’s instructions on proper contact lens care

Newborns’ eyes ore susceptible to bacteria normally present in the mother’s birth canal. These bacteria cause no symptoms in the mother. :In rare cases, these bacteria con cause infants to develop a serious form of conjunctivitis known as ophthalmia neonatorurn, which needs treatment without delay to preserve sight. That’s why shortly after birth, every newborn’s eyes are pro. tected with a preventative application of on antibiotic, such as erythromycin ointment.

Myths
Conjunctivitis cannot be contracted by looking at the eyes of patient of conjunctivitis
Rose water or other such remedies do not help relieve con. junctivitis

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